ANWAR AL-AWLAKI (2001-2010)
Al-Qaeda on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon after 9/11
While Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may be subject to a kill-orcapture order signed by President Obama earlier this year, after the 9/11 attacks al-Awlaki was not only the go-to source for the establishment media, but also the U.S. government. Despite being subject to a FBI investigation initiated in 1999, and having been interviewed by the FBI at least four times after 9/11 for his contacts with two of the hijackers, Al-Awlaki was leading prayers for congressional Muslim staffers inside the U.S. Capitol. Video of the Al-Qaeda cleric on Capitol Hill was included in the PBS documentary, “Muhammad, Legacy of a Prophet,” which also shows Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) executive director Nihad Awad and communications specialist Randall “Ismail” Royer in attendance at the Al-Awlaki-led prayer services. Royer was later arrested and pled guilty to conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization. As reported recently by Fox News, documents they obtained showed that al-Awlaki was also feted at a luncheon inside the still-smoldering Pentagon following the 9/11 attacks hosted by the Army’s Office of Government Counsel.
An April 2010 article and video essay by Roll Call shows that Al-Qaeda’s influence on Capitol Hill continues in the person of Anwar Hajjaj, a local Islamic cleric who still leads prayers for the Congressional Muslim Staff Association. Hajjaj headed the Taibah International Aid Association, which was designated a global terrorist organization by the Treasury Department in May 2004. Another Taibah official was Al-Qaeda fundraiser Abdurahman Alamoudi. Hajjaj also served as director of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which was headed by Osama bin Laden’s nephew, Abdullah bin Laden. The WAMY offices were raided by the FBI in June 2004, and Abdullah bin Laden left the country. Hajjaj was also the president of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, where al-Awlaki served as imam and where at least two of the 9/11 hijackers attended services.
Daniel Newhauser, “Muslim staffers have faith in a tolerant Hill,” Roll Call, April 21, 2010
Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, “Rep. Meeks helped ‘jihad’ flier,” New York Post, September 19, 2010
Patrick Poole, “Al-Awlaki Led Prayer Services for Congressional Muslim Staffers Association after 9/11,” Pajamas Media, September 16, 2010
Patrick Poole, “Congressional Muslim staffers hosted second Al-Qaeda cleric on Capitol Hill,” Pajamas Media, October 14, 2010
Patrick Poole, “Al-Qaeda still on Capitol Hill,” Big Peace, October 14, 2010
Catherine Herridge, “Al-Qaeda leader dined at the Pentagon just months after 9/11,” Fox News, October 20, 2010