Al Qaeda leader had lunch with Pentagon officials after 9/11

A top al Qaeda leader had lunch with high-ranking US military officials at Pentagon after 9/11.

Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 22:11 PM IST

London: A top al Qaeda leader who is one
of the world`s most wanted men rubbed shoulders with
high-ranking US military officials at a luncheon at the
Pentagon in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist
attacks, a new report said on Thursday.

The report details how Anwar al-Awlaki, the first
American on the CIA`s kill or capture list met top military
personnel just months after the brazen attacks.

Fox News claim to have acquired documents that state
that Awlaki was taken to the US Department of Defence`s
headquarters as part of the military`s outreach program to the
Muslim community in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist
attacks.

In an FBI interview conducted after the Fort Hood
shooting in November last year, a Defence Department employee
told investigators that she helped to arrange the meeting with
Awlaki after seeing him speak in Alexandria, Virgina, Daily
Mail reported.

One of the documents read that the employee had
`attended this talk and while she arrived late she recalls
being impressed by this imam. He condemned Al Qaeda and the
terrorists attacks`.

`During his talk he was harassed by members of the
audience and suffered it well,` the document continued.

Other documents read: `At that period in time, the
secretary of the Army was eager to have a presentation from a
moderate Muslim`.

American-born Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, `was
considered to be an up and coming member of the Islamic
community`.

`After her vetting, Aulaqi (Awlaki) was invited to and
attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the secretary of the
Army`s Office of Government Counsel`.

Awlaki was apparently interviewed at least four times
by the FBI in the week after the September 11 attacks because
of his links to the three hijackers.

Nawaf al-Hazmi,Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour were
all aboard Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.
He was also linked to the alleged Fort Hood shooter
Major Nidal Malik Hasan who had emailed Awlaki before the
attack.

`At that period in time, the secretary of the Army was
eager to have a presentation from a moderate Muslim` Awlaki, a
former Muslim chaplain at George Washington University, is now
believed to be hiding in Yemen.

That is where he is said to have met with the
Christmas Day bomber Farouk Abdulmutallab and became the go
between the young Nigerian and the maker of the bombs that
Abdulmutallab had planned to use.

PTI