Looks like he got away with it, too
“There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies.” But Aulaqi was American-born, indicating that the jihad problem, while it contains a very serious immigration component, is not solely an immigration matter.
“Imam From Va. Mosque Now Thought to Have Aided Al-Qaeda,” by Susan Schmidt for the Washington Post (thanks to all who sent this in):
Even before the 2001 terrorist attacks, American-born imam Anwar al-Aulaqi drew the attention of federal authorities because of his possible connections to al-Qaeda. Their interest grew after 9/11, when it turned out that three of the hijackers had spent time at his mosques in California and Falls Church, but he was allowed to leave the country in 2002.
New information later surfaced about his contacts with extremists while in the United States. Now, U.S. officials are saying for the first time that they believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaeda networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia. In mid-2006, Aulaqi was detained in Yemen at the request of the United States. To the dismay of U.S. authorities, Aulaqi was released in December.
“There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies,” said a U.S. counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
U.S. authorities were limited in how far they could push Yemen to hold Aulaqi, officials said, because they have no pending legal case against him. The officials said ongoing intelligence-gathering efforts here and abroad prevented them from providing details about Aulaqi’s suspected activities.
Aulaqi, 36, was the spiritual leader in 2001 and 2002 of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, one of the largest in the country. In a taped interview posted this New Year’s Eve on a British Web site, Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the Sept. 11 hijackers.
“I don’t know if I was held because of that, or because of the other issues they presented,” Aulaqi said without elaborating. He said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so “until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.” Aulaqi did not respond to requests for an interview.
After 9/11, Aulaqi publicly condemned the attacks. But in comments published in English on Sept. 17, 2001, on IslamOnline, Aulaqi suggested that Israelis may have been responsible for the 9/11 attacks and that the FBI “went into the roster of the airplanes and whoever has a Muslim or Arab name became the hijacker by default.”
Weeks after leaving the United States in the spring of 2002, he posted an essay in Arabic titled “Why Muslims Love Death” on the Islam Today Web site, lauding the fervor of Palestinian suicide bombers. Months later he praised them in English at a lecture in a London mosque that was recorded on videotape.
Dar al-Hijrah’s spokesman and others in leadership positions at the mosque did not respond to requests for interviews for this article.
Does anyone there agree with Aulaqi’s point of view? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?