Radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki lunched at the Pentagon as part of a program to reach out to moderate Muslims in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a military official said Thursday.
The U.S.-born al-Qaida operative is now on a U.S. kill-or-capture list.
U.S. investigators say e-mails link al-Awlaki to the Army psychiatrist accused of last year's killings at Fort Hood, Texas. They also say that he helped prepare Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused in the Christmas airline bombing attempt, and that he had links to the failed Times Square bombing.
Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said al-Awlaki was invited to the Department of Defense's headquarters after 9/11 as part of a broader effort under then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to establish better ties with the Muslim community.
This demonstrates the difficulty in reaching out to so called "moderates" - - there really aren't that many where the Middle East is concerned.
Of course, I'm sure the media will dismiss it all as an understandable reaction to vicious American Islamophobia.