FBI director does not deny al-Awlaki may have been government asset
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Fox News
Posted: August 27th, 2013
Newly declassified documents obtained [by] Judicial Watch, are raising questions over the U.S. government's handling of Anwar al-Awlaki, and whether it [recruited] the radical American cleric as an intelligence source in 2002. Director Robert Mueller did not dismiss the possibility. "I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset -- that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so," Mueller said. Fox's ongoing reporting ... shows that in 2002 he was released from custody at JFK international airport -- despite an active warrant for his arrest -- with the okay of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman. Within days of his re-entry, al-Awlaki showed up in Ammerman's counter-terrorism investigation in Virginia into Ali al-Timimi, who is now serving a life sentence on non-terrorism charges. None of the information about al-Awlaki's release from federal custody at JFK, a sudden decision by the Justice Department in October 2002 to rescind an arrest warrant for the cleric, nor the cleric's connection to Ammerman was provided to the defense during Timimis 2005 trial. Documents ... show the FBI Director was more deeply involved in the post-9/11 handling of al-Awlaki than previously known. One memo from Mueller to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on Oct. 3, 2002 -- seven days before the cleric re-entered the U.S. and was detained at JFK -- is marked "Secret" and titled "Anwar Aulaqi: IT-UBL/AL-QAEDA." "Why would al-Awlaki get the attention of the FBI Director? Why would a warrant for his arrest be pulled when he's trying to reenter the country?" asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Note: Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and was a US citizen, died in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen nearly two years ago, the first American targeted for death by the CIA, by its own admission. With the confirmation that he had been an intelligence asset for the US government as early as 2002, his assassination takes on new significance. For more on the murky background of Al-Awlaki, click here and here.