The investigation shifted into a higher gear late that year after agents learned that Khan had been communicating with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric from the United States and an al-Qaeda leader with ties to the 9/11 bombers. In a Jan. 8, 2009, report included among the documents, the Khan investigation had been elevated to a higher priority because of his contact with Awlaki, who was one of the FBI’s top terrorism targets. Awlaki was the first American to be placed on the CIA’s “kill or capture” list by the Obama administration. The next day, on Jan. 9, Charlotte agents contacted the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, a special forces unit created to respond to terrorist incidents and hostage situations such as aircraft hijackings. The team, based at Quantico, Va., is largely made up of former special forces personnel from the Army Delta Force and the Navy SEALs. A meeting was scheduled in Charlotte for “finalizing operational plans” five days later.
The magazine, which continued after Khan’s death, was cited as likely influencing last month’s attack at a satirical French newspaper. The files are part of a third batch of hundreds of heavily redacted files from an investigation that started in 2006. Previously released FBI records indicate that Khan’s radicalization happened gradually. He started a blog in 2004 where he described himself as a man of peace and saw jihad more as a mental struggle. But his tone and tenor sharpened over the years. He began to advocate for violence abroad. He posted hundreds of videos that graphically depict the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and suicide attacks on coalition facilities.
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota SEX, CRIME CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com