Jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki communicated to his followers by sending several thousand email messages from more than 60 email addresses while under FBI surveillance, including some exchanged with accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, Fox News
A radical American-born Muslim cleric who was a rising star in Al Qaeda before being killed by in an American drone attack in Yemen in 2011, al-Awlaki was an outspoken advocate of violent jihad against the United States, with his sermons and lectures carried extensively over the Internet. He had been linked to more than a dozen terrorist investigations in the United States, Britain and Canada.
In 2009, at the same time al-Awlaki was exchanging emails with Hasan, he sent encrypted emails calling for a major terrorist attack, Fox reported.
Some of the emails used code words.
Hasan killed 13 and injured at least 43 others at Fort Hood just outside of Killeen Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009, the worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base and the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11.
"He [Anwar al-Awlaki] was incredibly busy. He — during his peak period — had upwards of 60 email accounts that he was using at any given time," retired FBI agent Keith Slotter told Fox. Slotter, who works at a private international investigative firm specializing in cyber crime and digital forensics, said. "He'd let some [email accounts] go dark, and he'd use 10 or 15, and then those would go dark, and he'd go to a different set. So he was constantly revolving. As you can imagine with that many accounts, it was quite a lot to stay on top of."
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said emails between Hasan and al-Awlaki should have been flagged by investigators.
"I have read the emails and they should have given rise to alarm," Collins said. "Just the fact that a member of our Armed Forces was communicating at all with a radical cleric in Yemen should have given rise to an investigation that was thorough and complete."
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