Al-Awlaki Linked to Attempted Plane Bombing
US-born cleric has also been connected to Fort Hood shooting
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2009 7:43 AM CST
This Oct. 2008 file photo by Muhammad ud-Deen shows Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.   (AP Photo/Muhammad ud-Deen, File)

(Newser) – US officials believe that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused of attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, was in contact with radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. If that name or face looks familiar, it’s because Awlaki has also been linked to the man charged in the Fort Hood shootings, along with multiple other terror probes.

Investigators say they’ve uncovered intelligence “chatter” that seems to confirm this latest link, reports the Wall Street Journal. Awlaki, a US-born 38-year-old, is associated with al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch, which has claimed responsibility for the failed attack, and was already under suspicion. In his interrogation, Abdulmutallab told the FBI that Awlaki was involved in planning certain parts of the attack, adds the LA Times.