The case against Awlaki

Bill Gertz:

The radical Islamic cleric who is the target of an Obama administration kill-or-capture order played a major role in directing the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day and in other terror plots, a senior U.S. intelligence official has revealed.

Anwar al-Awlaki, who has dual U.S.-Yemeni citizenship, was involved in "preparing" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in the attempted midflight bombing of a Northwest Airlines jet traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec. 25, Director of National IntelligenceJames R. Clapper said in a court statement made public on Saturday.

In addition, as a leader of the Yemen-based terror group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Mr. al-Awlaki has played a key role since late 2009 in "planning attacks on U.S. interests," Mr. Clapper said.

"In November 2009, while in Yemen, Mr. Abdulmutallab swore allegiance to the emir of [AQAP] and shortly thereafter received instructions from Mr. al-Awlaki to detonate an explosive device aboard a U.S. airplane over U.S. airspace," the intelligence director stated.

It marks the first time Mr. al-Awlaki's direct role in instructing the suspect in the airline bombing plot and his group's other plots were made public. In July, Michael E. Leiter, head of the National Counterterrorism Center, said Mr. al-Awlaki was directly involved in the airline plot, but he did not provide details.

Mr. Clapper did not say how U.S. intelligence learned of the links between Mr. al-Awlaki and Mr. Abdulmutallab.

However, a Senate intelligence committee report on intelligence failures related to the attempted airline bombing revealed in May that the National Security Agency partially identified Mr. Abdulmutallab as a terrorist but failed to spy more intently on him, a likely reference to intercepted communications between the two men.

Mr. Clapper also linked the Yemen-based group to the suicide bombing that nearly killed Saudi Arabia's assistant interior minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, in August 2009. That blast was carried out by a Saudi national who detonated a bomb hidden in his rectum during a reception for the prince.

Additionally, Mr. Clapper's statement said Mr. al-Awlaki's group was behind the suicide bombing that killed four South Korean tourists in Yemen in March 2009 and the attempted assassination of the British ambassador to Yemen in April.

There is more.

I expect some of the evidence against Awlaki came from the underpants bomber, Abdulmutallab. Some may have also come from Awlaki's own web site where he encourages people to make war against the US. But the real concern is intelligence that came from foreign intelligence services as well as our own intelligence services and the intercepts of communications by the NSA. That should justify the States Secrets argument made by the Justice Department in asking for the dismissal of the case.

This appears to be another situation where the ACLU is acting as the useful idiot of our enemies in a time of war by assisting them in a lawfare attack on the US.


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