Disclosures Pried From Government Strongly Suggest Terrorist Awlaki Was an Informant

Consistent with our government’s seemingly incorrigible penchant to dismiss extremist Islamic incitement as harmless rhetoric, and to perceive Islamic supremacists as “moderate Islamists” with whom it can collaborate, law enforcement officials knew about Awlaki’s extensive contacts with some of the 9/11 suicide-hijackers but excused them as “random [and] the inevitable consequence of living in the small world of Islam in America.” Years later, law enforcement and military officials knew about but ignored startling jihadist communications between Awlaki and eventual Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan.

The new information corroborates my suggestion here two years ago that, in letting Awlaki go rather than arresting him on the pending fraud charge, the government was “acting on the misguided hope of using him as an informant.” This is not only cause for potential embarrassment in its own right; it adds to the concerns over the circumstances of Awlaki’s death.

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