The Al qaeda connection-He hasw been leading a double life as a gentle Imam cleric yetFBI has ben unable to make connections of his stick to al Qaeda.
- In 2000 he met with Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi two of 5 men who on 9-11 jijacked 2001 would hijack American Airlined Flight77 and fly it into the Pentagon.
- Connections to the hijackers after5 9/11. Investigated by US intelligence agencies. Al-Awlaki's phone number found in the Hamburg residence of Ramzi Binalshibh a Yemeni and plotter of the 9/11 debacle.
- Left the US for Yemen in March 2002. In October,made one final trip to the US. He was then briefly dwetained at JFK sirport in NYC. FBI's attemto arrest him on false information on a passport came to nothing
- Left US and spent two years in London. In 2004,returned to Yemen where he taught at a radical University and was arrested by Yemeni authorities and imprisoned for 18 months for unknown reasons but was never charged. Al-Awlaki blamed the US for pressuring Yemeni authorities to detain him and claimed FBI inettogated him in prison.
His books and CD's have become best sellers -You Tube sermons have had thousands of hits.
His target audience is what distinguishes him Young Muslims in the US and Britain. He is a rare specimen who can communicate as a jihadist cleric effortessly with audiences in the West.He has lived among Muslim immigrants with English speaking children who fear that the children will be severed from their roots.(Jarret Brachman Global Jihadism:Theory and Practice, His blog posts contain his fire and message of the conflict of Islam and the West and the duty of all Muslim to join in a holy war against the West as best they can.He has written "44 ways to support Jihad".
From Propagandist to operational player
-It is enough to have the right intention
-Now the preachings tend toward undiluted involvement as a holy warrior
-Physically fit-spiritually to prepar-pray for martyrdom
-Blog post- " I pray that Allah destroys America and all its allies.and the day that happens,and I assure you it will and sooner than you think."
-He is no longer content to preach re:counterterrorism experts and due to his association with AQAP which may be the terrorists' most ambitious franchise.
-Operational role in dispute-sitting and planning attacks? Nothing seems to suggest this role. (Ben Veneke of IntelCenter states his connections with Hasan and Abdulmutallab shows a more than passive role as literature disseminator.Yet he lacks combat experience.Pete Hoeksyta ranking Republican on House Intelligence says he influences operational issues . He plays a role in setting strategic direction fo r AQAP.He is vocally encouraging the killing of Americans.
-Since the missile attack on his house,he is in hiding with his tribe in Shabwa province in Yemen.The likely US alternative will be a drone strike which has precedent, but it is also an unpleasant reminder that al_Walaki is not the first brought up in the West and will not be the last.
-In Nov 2002, one of the frist everdrone operations took place in Yemen killing Ahmed Hijazi a suspected Al Qaeda operative.He was an American.