Back in September I reported on a video showing that Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, spiritual mentor to at least two of the 9/11 hijackers, had led Friday prayers in the U.S. Capitol for congressional Muslim staff members. The video was part of the PBS documentary, "Mohammad, Legacy of a Prophet". And just a few weeks ago Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported that Awlaki had been hosted at a luncheon at the Pentagon by the U.S Army's Office of Government Counsel.
Now I can report exclusively here at Big Peace that Anwar Al-Awlaki, who is currently subject to a kill-or-capture order signed by President Obama, was involved in the training of the Defense Department's Muslim chaplains and lay leaders as an instructor at the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America (IIASA) in the Washington D.C. area.
Controlled by the Saudi Embassy and operating under the kingdom's Ministry of Higher Education, IIASA served as the branch campus of the al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. The institute was certified to train the Pentagon's Muslim chaplains until 2003. Many IIASA faculty members, who held diplomatic passports, had their visas revoked in January 2004 and the institute itself was raided by the FBI, customs and the IRS the following July. It closed shortly thereafter.