Book: Snuffed out terrorist busted for vice, loitering around schools
Posted: October 07, 2011
12:50 am Eastern
The recently slain American al-Qaida cleric at the center of dozens of terror plots, including the 9/11 attacks, led a seedy double life that included a penchant for hookers and underage girls, a blockbuster new book reveals.
In the 1990s, Anwar Awlaki, then an imam at a small San Diego mosque, was picked up twice by San Diego police for soliciting prostitutes. He served no jail time.
The Muslim holy man was also cited for loitering around playgrounds and schools. Local detectives believe he may have been a pedophile on the prowl.
U.S.-born Awlaki, 40, was killed last week in a CIA drone strike in Yemen, following his designation last year as a top al-Qaida terrorist.
Within months of being named prayer leader of Masjid al-Rabat just outside San Diego in 1996, Awlaki was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in a nearby redlight district. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was fined $400, after enrolling in an AIDS awareness program.
But the cleric was unfazed by the embarrassing bust.
The next year, he was arrested again for vice. This time, Awlaki was sentenced to three years probation and fined $240. He was also ordered to perform 12 days of community service.
Then in 2002, after taking over a large mosque in the Washington suburbs, Awlaki was caught on tape at a Virginia ATM with a young prostitute he'd picked up in the district and driven across the Potomac. The woman was a minor, and federal authorities considered busting Awlaki under the Mann Act, an obscure federal law originally passed in 1910 to stop johns and pimps from trafficking underage girls across state lines.
But the case was never prosecuted – one of many investigations against the Saudi Embassy-connected terrorist to mysteriously lose traction.
Awlaki at the time lived in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and children.
In his sermons at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, and in his widely circulated taped lectures, he railed against sins of the flesh, and spoke openly about his disgust for fornication on Earth.