Lawyers for a Virginia man serving a life sentence for supporting jihad against the United States pushed Friday to pry more information out of the federal government about the possibility that cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki may have been recruited as a government informant a decade ago.
During a federal court hearing in Alexandria, Va., U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema didn’t sound inclined to grant motions by former cancer researcher and Muslim scholar Ali Al-Timimi seeking more details on the government’s relationship with Al-Awlaki, as well as other facts Al-Timimi’s lawyers say were withheld prior to and during his 2005 trial on charges such as aiding the Taliban and soliciting treason.
Al-Timimi lawyer Jonathan Turley said Al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, visited Al-Timimi at his home in October 2002 and “encouraged him to recruit….and actually raised issues of possible terrorist acts.” The defense lawyer said that recently-released FBI files suggest that Al-Awlaki may have been acting as an “asset” for some government agency when he returned to the U.S. from abroad just prior to his meeting with Al-Timimi.
There was an outstanding warrant for Al-Awlaki’s arrest on a fraud charge when he flew back into the U.S. in 2002, but he was admitted at JFK airport in New York after only a short delay.
However, prosecutor Gordon Kromberg insisted that the government turned over all information it was obligated to prior to Al-Timimi’s trial and had no duty to detail its dealings with Al-Awlaki.
- U.S. Government: Documents Pertaining to Awlaki Being an Asset on “An Agency” Payroll Are All Classified (BFP)
- Was US Born Cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki a Government Informant? (AP)
- FBI director does not deny al-Awlaki may have been government asset (Fox News)
- Qaeda-Linked Imam al-Awlaki dined at Pentagon just months after 9/11 (CBS)
- Interview with Lt.Col. Anthony Shaffer: Anwar al-Awlaki Was a triple agent, and an FBI asset before 9/11 (Infowars)
- Top official admits FBI had al-Awlaki in custody before letting him go in 2002 (Fox News)
- February-August 2000: 9/11 Hijackers Alhazmi and Almihdhar Have Closed-Door Meetings with Al-Qaeda Imam in San Diego (History Commons)
- Cleric says he was confidant to Fort Hood shooter Hasan (Washington Post)
- U.S.-born cleric linked to airline bombing plot (LA Times)
- U.S. Approves Targeted Killing of American Cleric (NY Times)