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Top Pentagon lawyers had lunch with Islamist radical cleric al-Awlaki in 2002

June 8, 2011 - Washington

The Pentagon's top lawyers and the Executive Director of controversial Muslim group 'Council of American Islamic Relations' (CAIR) were reportedly invited to have lunch with Yemen based Islamist radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on February 5, 2002, as part of the Defense Department's efforts to get connected to moderate Muslims.

According to new internal Defense Department documents obtained by Fox News, after the Fort Hood massacre in November 2009, a Defense Department employee informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials that al-Awlaki, the first American on the CIA's "kill-or-capture" list, was a guest speaker at the Pentagon five months after 9/11.

The documents also revealed that names of over 70 people were listed as invitees, including Deputy General Counsel Charles Allen, former Deputy General Counsel Whit Cobb, former principal Deputy General Counsel Dan Dell'Orto, former General Counsel William Haynes, Deputy General Counsel Paul Koffsky and former Deputy General Counsel Douglas Larsen.

According to the email, there was at least one civilian on the guest list.

The email invitation reads: "Nihad Awad, President of the Counsel on American-Islamic Relations has also expressed interest in attending."

It also said that al-Awlaki had forwarded his resume in an attempt to be employed at the Defense Department.

The email invitation reads: "(Awlaki) is currently working on his PhD in Human Resource Development at George Washington University, received a Master of Education Leadership from San Diego State University..."

Within days of the lunch, al Awlaki reportedly left America, and returned mysteriously after eight months. He was stopped and detained by Customs officers at JFK International Airport because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest, until an FBI agent ordered Awlaki's release.


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