AQ trainer: Yeah, I'm pretty proud of Hasan and Abdulmutallab

Consider this a companion piece to last week’s report that the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee had to subpoena the Obama administration to find out what it knows about the Fort Hood shooting; more on that in a moment.  Anwar al-Awlaqi knows enough to beam with pride during an interview with Al-Jazeera about the US Army Major he trained to commit an act of jihad on an Army base. Or was that what he meant?

Anwar al-Awlaqi claimed to have trained UK-educated Nigerian Islamist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who attempted to blow up a jet bound for Detroit Dec 25, 2009.

He also said he was ‘proud’ to have trained radical Islamist Nidal Hassan, a US-born doctor of Palestinian descent who shot dead 13 people and wounded 30 others at the Fort Hood military base in Texas in November last year.

‘I am proud to have been their teacher,’ al-Awlaqi, who has dual Yemeni-US citizenship and was an imam of mosques in San Diego and Virginia, said in a video aired by Al-Jazeera channel.

Awlaqi earlier shrugged off accusations that he quarterbacked the Fort Hood massacre. This may not be quite as much of a change as it sounds. Awlaqi could have referred to training in Islam, at least with Nidal Hasan. Awlaqi had always claimed that he only answered questions Hasan posed about his religion and didn’t have any involvement in the specifics of Hasan’s crimes.

That distinction becomes a lot more difficult with Abdulmuttalab, however. Awlaqi only met with him for a short period when the Nigerian was training for his terrorist mission. The only lessons Awlaqi would have taught Abdulmuttalab would have related to blowing up a plane with his underwear, which of course Abdulmuttalab failed to do well enough, thankfully.

More than likely, Awlaqi wants to take credit for both attacks now and taunt the US after at least one failed attempt to finish him off in Yemen.  Just how involved was Awlaqi in the Fort Hood massacre?  Congress would like to know that, too, but Barack Obama refuses to cooperate:

The Obama administration said Tuesday it would provide more information to Congress about the Fort Hood shootings but continued to defy a subpoena request for witness statements and other documents.

After days of negotiations, the Pentagon and Justice Department informed a Senate committee that they would not comply with congressional subpoenas to share investigative records from the Nov. 5 shootings at Fort Hood, Tex., which killed 13 people. The agencies said that divulging the material could jeopardize their prosecution of Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the accused gunman. …

Leslie Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Senate committee, called the refusal by the Pentagon and the Justice Department to hand over all the requested material “an affront to Congress’s constitutional obligation to conduct independent oversight of the executive branch.”

She said the committee, chaired by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), was still deciding whether to pursue the subpoenas in court. The committee has complained that the Obama administration has been stonewalling it for months over its Hasan probe, prompting it to issue the subpoenas April 19.

I’d give that only a marginal chance of success.  The courts will likely give the administration a great deal of leeway on protecting an ongoing investigation, even though (a) the shooter was identified immediately, and (b) his accomplice is bragging about the pride he’s taken in Hasan’s murder spree.  The biggest takeaway is that the Hope and Change of transparency has given way to Nixonian stonewalling, even with as friendly a Congress as Obama’s ever likely to have.

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