Back in October, FOX News broke the startling news that radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was a guest speaker at a Pentagon luncheon just months after the Sept. 11 attacks. As you may recall, Awlaki was the first American to earn himself a coveted spot on the CIA's kill or capture list. This week, even more disturbing information was released about Awlaki's Pentagon visit.
Sadly, it seems that nobody from the FBI communicated with the Pentagon prior to the luncheon about Awlaki's ties to 9/11 terrorists. The FBI had interviewed him at least four times during the week following the 9/11 attacks, as he had ties to three hijackers -- Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour (ironically, all three were on board the plane that crashed into the Pentagon).
FOX News has more:
...documents show that more than 70 people were copied on the invitation, which originated in the Defense Department’s Office of the General Counsel. It is home to the Pentagon's top lawyer.
"I have reserved one of the executive dining rooms for February 5th, which is the date he (Awlaki) preferred," a defense department lawyer wrote in the e-mail announcing the event.
"He (Awlaki) will be leaving for an extensive period of time on February 11th."
The e-mail states that New Mexico born al-Awlaki was the featured guest speaker on “Islam and Middle Eastern Politics and Culture."
The Defense Department lawyer who vetted the imam wrote that she "had the privilege of hearing one of Mr. Awlaki's presentations in November and was impressed by both the extent of his knowledge and by how he communicated that information and handled a hostile element in the audience."
Clearly, someone failed to run a comprehensive background check. How a known associate of 9/11 terrorists was invited to speak in the very building his comrades sought to destroy is perplexing. This radical, who was so widely sought out as an expert back in 2002, is now considered a top threat to U.S. security. He's hiding in Yemen, where U.S. forces have been seeking him out.