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Awlaki directed 'underwear bomber' to carry out Christmas Day terror plot

Washington, Sat, 11 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 11 (ANI): Slain America-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki personally directed a terror plot to take down a plane over Detroit, which a Nigerian man tried to carry out on Christmas Day in 2009, a memo has revealed.


A Justice Department memo released ahead of the sentencing next week of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, also known as the "underwear bomber," described how Awlaki tested the Nigerian's commitment to jihad, arranged for him to meet a bomb-maker, and told him to get on a US airliner and detonate his explosives over America.


The memo described how Abdulmutallab, inspired by the online lectures of Awlaki, left Dubai, where he was taking graduate classes, and traveled to Yemen to meet the cleric in August 2009, The Washington Post reports.


According to the memo, Awlaki requested a written explanation as to why Abdulmutallab wanted to become involved in a violent jihad, and on being satisfied with his answer, Awlaki told Abdulmutallab he would find a way for him to participate.


The memo revealed that Abdulmutallab, after establishing contact with Awlaki, was driven "through the Yemeni desert" to the cleric's house, where he stayed for three days.


"During that time, the defendant met Awlaki and discussed martyrdom and jihad," the memo stated.


Abdulmutallab, 25, pleaded guilty in October to eight charges, including attempted murder and terrorism, for attempting to take down a flight from Amsterdam.


He will be sentenced next week in a US District Court in Detroit, where prosecutors are seeking consecutive life sentences on several counts. (ANI)


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