One of the
mainstream liberal media memes when it comes to Anwar al-Awlaki, the man who inspired the Fort Hood jihadist, the underwear bomber, and the Times Square bomber was that he didn’t radicalize until after 9/11 because of – wait for it – Islamophobia.
As the guy said in Independence Day, that’s not entirely accurate.
Via IPT News:
When Anwar al-Awlaki emerged as the clear inspiration behind a series of terror plots in 2009, his former associates in America insisted he was radicalized well after leaving the United States in 2002.
But in what might be his last published work, Awlaki explains that his involvement in violent jihad dated back to 1991, and that he hated the American government as far back as his college days.
“Spilling out the Beans: Al Awlaki Revealing His Side of the Story,” appeared this week in the final edition of al-Qaida’s English-language magazine Inspire.
Why would the media – and the government, for that matter – want people to believe al-Awlaki was a force for good until he left the U.S. in 2002? Could it have anything to do with a 2002 Department of Defense luncheon at which al-Awlaki was a distinguished guest? According to IPT, Al-Awlaki himself, wrote that his transformation began during the 1991 Gulf War. That would mean that he was given posh treatment by the US Government many years later.
The clarification flies in the face of claims by American Muslim leaders that he had been radicalized by Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks, and motivated to violence following his 18 month imprisonment in Yemen, starting in 2006. At the heart of some Muslim leaders’ argument was a desire to distance themselves from Awlaki’s new public radicalism, and to twist the debate to focus on America’s role in creating a vengeful monster.
“While employed at Dar Al-Hijrah, Imam Al-Awlaki was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community,” a statement from the imam’s former mosque in northern Virginia said after Awlaki died in a U.S. drone strike last fall. “However, after Mr. Al-Awlaki’s departure from the mosque in 2002 he was arrested by Yemeni authorities and allegedly tortured. It was then that Al-Awlaki began preaching violence,” they claimed, while condemning America’s assassination of Awlaki in a drone strike.
These claims were echoed by major outlets like the New York Times and National Public Radio. They portrayed Awlaki as a victim of his circumstances, and accepted the moderation of the “eloquent” preacher who claimed he could have been “a bridge between Americans and one billion Muslims worldwide.”
Why would NPR and the New York Times run such stories in 2009 and 2010, respectively, about al-Awlaki being radicalized after 2002 when al-Awlaki himself said the transition took place in the early 1990’s?
It’s worth noting that the FBI let Al-Awlaki go after detaining him briefly at JFK airport in October of 2002, despite there being an outstanding arrest warrant against him that was mysteriously withdrawn. In another report by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, she reported that she spoke to multiple retired FBI agents who had some interesting things to say about why Al-Awlaki would have been released:
Fox News confirmed that the October 2002 incident and the arrest warrant for al-Awlaki was never disclosed to the 9/11 Commission or to Congress.
Former FBI agents, familiar with al-Awlaki’s re-entry in October 2002, say only two scenarios seem to explain what happened. The FBI was tracking the cleric for intelligence or the FBI was working with the cleric and saw him as a “friendly contact.”
So are we to believe the New York Times and NPR were protecting the legacy of George W. Bush in 2009 and 2010 by reporting that al-Awlaki was of good moral fiber when the Defense Department under the Bush administration honored him with a luncheon?
We all know that’s not possible; it’s about something else.
Read the entire IPT report.
Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the upcoming book, Unsung Davids