While the Islamic cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, linked to several terror plots on America, is the most wanted American on the CIA’s kill or capture list, the U.S. State Department refuses to release documents about al-Awlaki citing his right to privacy.
Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in March 2010, Fox News requested “….any and all records maintained by the United States Department of State, in the passport file….” for the cleric. Initially, the request was referred to Human Resources at the State Department, before a formal response was issued more than a year later, in August 2011. The letter reads in part :
After 9/11, Anwar Al-Awlaki was a tier one, priority target for the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in San Diego because of his known contacts with the hijackers. A State Department agent assigned to the JTTF, Ray Fournier, put together an arrest warrant for passport fraud in 2002. As part of that fraud, al-Awlaki lied on his Social Security application claiming he was born in Yemen, not New Mexico. At the time, there was not enough firm evidence to link the cleric to 9/11, so the passport fraud case was seen as a holding charge.
In addition, as Fox News was first to report in its special “The American Terrorist,” the cleric fraudulently obtained $20,000 in scholarship money to fund his college education in Colorado. Al-Awlaki, who is a dual U.S./Yemeni national, claimed to be a foreign student. As an American citizen, the cleric was not entitled to the scholarship paid for by the U.S. taxpayer. According to the agent who handled the case, the documents still exist and are held by the State Department.
The denial of State Department documents is part of an ongoing pattern. In 2010, through the Freedom of Information Act, Fox News sought an FBI intelligence report, also known as an EC, that was written about the cleric and his radical ties two days before the cleric mysteriously entered the U.S. in October 2002 and the arrest warrant for passport fraud was pulled by the Justice Department. When the 27 page EC was produced by the FBI, all of the pages were redacted, citing national security and an executive order — most likely, the warrantless wiretapping program. READ MORE