The month after Major Nidal Hasan open fired at Fort Hood, killing thirteen people and injuring thirty-two others, his mentor — the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — gave an interview to Al Jazeera.
In the December 2009 interview, al-Awlaki describes his year-long email correspondence with Hasan, explaining that he coached Hasan to kill American soldiers on the grounds that, according to Islamic law, it was Hasan’s duty to do so.
The interview was predictably pro-jihad. But there was one notable comment that stood out. About one-third of the way through the interview, al-Awlaki asks his Al Jazeera counterpart:
I wonder where were the American security forces that one day claimed they can read the numbers of any license plate, anywhere in the world, from space?
In other words, al-Awlaki wondered why, with all the high-tech surveillance the National Security Agency (NSA) has at its disposal, the messages between him and Major Hasan weren’t intercepted and read. The argument that al-Awlaki’s emails would have been a needle in a haystack does not hold water. Al-Awlaki has remained high on every U.S. intelligence agency radar ever since it was revealed — in the “9/11 Commission Report” — that he was linked to at least four of the 9/11 hijackers through two separate mosques where he preached. One, the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, is located near Falls Church, Virginia, and the other, the Masjid Ar-Ribat al-Islami mosque, is located in San Diego, California. That al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, attended Colorado State University, is a U.S. citizen, and left America for Yemen in 2002 to preach jihad online makes him a person of interest who was most definitely being watched — long before Nidal Hasan ever attacked Fort Hood.
On Wednesday, March 17, a new al-Awlaki audio tape emerged. In it, al-Awlaki goads President Obama into releasing the entire contents of his year-long email correspondence with Nidal Hasan.