An US-born imam turned-Al Qaeda recruiter fled to the UK because he discovered the FBI knew that he was addicted to prostitutes, a new book claims.
The author wrote that the terrorist’s use of escorts “had become a habit he could not, or did not want to, break,” and that, “his main reason for leaving the United States was not Americans’ anti-Islamic prejudice, as many have assumed, but his own anti-Islamic behaviour.”
Awlaki was born New Mexico and trained as an engineer. He worked as an imam in Washington, D.C. and became one of the most famous Islamic preachers in the country, regularly appearing on television and presenting himself as a moderate following 9/11 – denouncing the actions of Al-Qaeda.
However, he would later rise into their top ranks, described as the “Bin Laden of the Internet,” and is thought to have mentored the “underwear bomber.” He died after a drone attack in Yemen in 2011.
Awlaki regularly denounced fornication in his sermons and blasted American television for “spreading” it, declaring that allah had sent AIDS to the US as punishment.
He still has a committed following online and within parts of the Muslim community. However, in his new book, “Objective Troy,” journalist Scott Shane revealed the ironic and hypocritical past of the feared terrorist. Shane writes in a preview of the book published on News.com:
“Such solo drives had become routine for him, though the settings varied; sometimes it was a motel in a seedier part of the city, or tonier lodging in the sprawling Virginia suburbs. This time it was the Marriott Residence Inn on P Street toward the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
“He handed over $220 and she performed oral sex on him. He “finished very quickly” and asked her for another round, the woman would later recount. But she was trying to raise the money to go to college in Florida and said he’d have to pay another $220. He said he’d pay again only for full sexual intercourse. She declined and he went on his way.
Awlaki was married with three children at the time, and had instructed Muslims to abstain from sexual activity during Ramadan in the Washington Post’s online chat just weeks before. Shane continued:
“… In the months after 9/11, the watchers from the SSG followed Awlaki to assignations with prostitutes at the Wyndham City Center, the Melrose, the Monarch, Avenue Suites, the Swissotel, and more.
“Agents would follow up with the women later the same day or the next day, asking about Awlaki’s words and actions. He liked the lights on, the agents learned. He found the escort services online and booked their services under his real name. Sometimes he asked for intercourse, sometimes oral sex, and sometimes he just watched the woman stimulate herself while he masturbated.
“The women had no complaints (though one, checking him out through the peephole in the hotel room door when he knocked, thought he resembled Osama bin Laden). He was ‘clean,’ ‘sweet’ and ‘very nice,’ they said. If he harboured anti-American feelings or was concocting secret terrorist schemes, he showed no sign of it.”
The FBI found no evidence that Awlaki was a terrorist at this time, but eventually one of the prostitutes informed him that FBI agents had been questioning them about his visits. Fearing he might be exposed or blackmailed by security services, he left for the UK and never returned.
He was further radicalised in the UK, and fled to Yemen to join Al-Qaeda in 2004. In 2011 he became the first U.S. citizen to be targeted and killed in a US drone strike, and is believed to be behind the radicalisation of many UK home-grown terrorists including Roshanara Choudary. He was also intereviewed by the head of the CAGE organisation that lamented the death of Jihadi John, Moazzam Begg.