A hot scoop from the Wash Times. This makes three people connected with the plot whom we once had in our grasp and let go: The two turds I wrote about yesterday who were sprung from Gitmo and now Aulaqi, who was in the U.S. after 9/11, was targeted with a federal arrest warrant — and then, inexplicably, was allowed to leave the country. He’s been abroad ever since, evidently plotting to blow western jets out of the sky in between answering e-mails from Nidal Hasan.

The Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner had his suicide mission personally blessed in Yemen by Anwar al-Awlaki, the same Muslim imam suspected of radicalizing the Fort Hood shooting suspect, a U.S. intelligence source has told The Washington Times.

The intelligence official, who is familiar with the FBI’s interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, said the bombing suspect has boasted of his jihad training during interrogation by the FBI and has said it included final exhortations by Mr. al-Awlaki.

“It was Awlaki who indoctrinated him,” the official said. “He was told, ‘You are going to be the tip of the spear of the Muslim nation.'”…

In his FBI interrogation, according to the U.S. intelligence official, Mr. Abdulmutallab spoke of being in a room in Yemen receiving Muslim blessings and prayers from Mr. al-Awlaki, along with a number of other men “all covered up in white martyrs’ garments,” and known only by code names and “abu” honorifics.

How far back do these two go? According to CBS, they might have hooked up in Londonistan years ago when Abdulmutallab was a student and Aulaqi was preaching the good word of jihad in the local mosque. (He was kicked out of the country in 2006.) The question tomorrow will be whether the former ended up in Yemen for his own reasons or whether he followed Aulaqi there, in which case you’ve got a whole new avenue of missed red flags potentially opening up.

He could, of course, be lying about all this, trying to spook intel agents by mentioning Aulaqi knowing that he already has a body count at Fort Hood. But he also told the agents that there are many more jihadis in Yemen ready to follow his example and he appears to be telling the truth about that. Obama’s called a surprise presser that’s set to start at any minute as I’m writing this. Stand by to see if he delves into any of it in his remarks.

Tags: Barack Obama