Published October 04, 2011
Radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was directly involved in the failed Christmas 2009 plot on a commercial jet and failed October 2010 plot on cargo planes, according to the federal bulletin issued after Awlaki was killed Friday in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen.
The Homeland Security/FBI bulletin, obtained by Fox News, specifically says Awlaki, an influential new-generation figure in Al Qeada, showed the suspected Christmas Day bomber how to detonate the bomb he is accused of hiding in his underwear.
That bomb failed to blow up, and the plane landed safely in Detroit. The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, now is standing trial.
"Anwar is alive," Abdulmutallab said Tuesday in court. "The mujahadeen will wipe out the U.S. -- the cancer U.S.," he added.
Awlaki was killed Friday by a joint air strike by the CIA and U.S. military. Two Predator drones hovering above Awlaki's convoy in Yemen fired the Hellfire missiles which killed him.
The strike also hit a vehicle with other suspected Al Qaeda members inside, killing Samir Khan, another American Muslim militant and the co-editor of an English-language Al Qaeda web magazine called "Inspire."
Khan admitted he was also behind the October 2010 cargo printer bomb plot, according to the federal bulletin issued after the strike.
The bulletin also warned that the killing led to a spike in traffic on Jihadist websites, raising concerns about retaliatory attacks.
"AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) external operations to date have focused on the aviation subsector, and the group has also revealed its interest -- highlighted in two issued of Inspire magazine - in carrying out an attack against the United States using unconventional means, such as chemical or biological agents," the bulletin reads.
Awlaki recruited operatives and facilitated training camps in Yemen for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the bulletin reads, and has played a role targeting the U.S. since 2009.
The government alleges in its case against Abdulmutallab, a well-educated Nigerian from an upper-class family, that he was directed by Awlaki and wanted to become a martyr when he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Christmas 2009.
Abdulmutallab has pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. The government says he wanted to blow up the plane by detonating chemicals in his underwear, just seven minutes before the jet carrying 279 passengers and a crew of 11 was to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Fox News' Catherine Herridge and the Associated Press contributed to this report.