Lamar Alexander has told radio station WOAI (and their web site) FBI Director Robert Mueller says the bureau is investigating whether a radical Islamic imam in Yemen Anwar al-Awlaki ‘had been encouraging’ Fort Hood gunman, jihadist, and terrorist (Yes I said it, TERRORIST) Nidal Hasan to commit violent acts against U.S. soldiers.Also, from Jawa Report, "Yemen Decides to Search for Anwar Al Awlaki":“They had no real early warnings,” U.S. Rep Lamar Smith (R-Tx), who is the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, reported Mueller as telling him earlier today. Smith spoke with 1200 WOAI’s Michael Board. “He said they had some of the intelligence that we have heard about, the connection to the radical, but because the individual in question seemed to be a major in good standing, they didn’t pursue it as much as they might have.”
Awlaki wrote on his blog Monday that Hasan ‘is a hero’ and a ‘man of conscience.’ Awlaki has been identified as the imam at a mosque in Falls Church Virginia, where Hasan and his family occasionally worshipped.
“I have been told that the individual who had been perhaps even encouraging the major in these violent acts, had previously had contact with three of the terrorists that were involved in the 9/11 attacks, so this may be a widening story, and the major may well have been in touch with those who were known terrorists, and if that is the case, this really opens up this situation to the fact that we need to be very very careful in the future, and we need to perhaps pay more attention to any red flags that may come to our attention.”
Smith said he is worried about the FBI and other agencies ‘covering up’ any ties between Hasan and ‘radical Islam.’
“In the future, when that comes to our attention, we shouldn’t try to diminish it or play it down,” he said.
Yemeni-American terror advocate and penpal to murderer Nidal Hasan, Anwar Awlaki was never charged with a crime in Yemen or the US. He had one of those "Saleh" deals - he promised to refrain from all violent activity within Yemen and they let him released him from jail. Its quite a common arrangement. But he stopped checking in nine months ago.AP -- A radical American imam who communicated with the Fort Hood shooting suspect and called him a hero was once arrested in Yemen on suspicion of giving religious approval to militants to conduct kidnappings. Yemeni authorities are now hunting for Anwar al-Awlaki to determine whether he has al-Qaida ties.
Al-Awlaki, who has used his personal Web site to encourage Muslims around the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, disappeared in Yemen eight months ago, according to his father (former Minister of Agriculture and previous head of Sana'a University). Yemeni security officials say they believe he is hiding in a region of the mountainous nation that has become a refuge for Islamic militants. ( In August Anwar excitedly blogged about a battle in Marib between Yemeni forces and al Qaeda.)
Al-Awlaki was arrested in 2006 with a group of five Yemenis accused of kidnapping a Shiite teenager for ransom...The group also plotted to kidnap the U.S. military attache in Yemen and rented a villa near the attache's house using a fake ID, the officials said. There was no immediate confirmation of the plot from American officials.
But investigators could not find any evidence for al-Qaida ties. Tribal leaders - who hold enormous influence in Yemen, where the central government is weak -intervened and pushed for the group's release, the Interior Ministry official said. The group was freed in December 2007 after they signed documents promising to remain in Yemen and to avoid any contacts with militants.
But authorities' suspicions over al-Awlaki were raised again several months after his release because he stopped checking in regularly with security officials as required under his release agreement, the officials said. Also, months later, another member of the group arrested with al-Awlaki left Yemen and was arrested in Syria on terrorism charges.