MUSLIM-AMERICAN cleric to the terrorist stars preaches jihad when not chasing prostitutes

IMAM ANWAR al-AWLAKI, the ho-chasing mullah who was spiritual advisor to the 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood jihadist, the Chistmas Day bomber, the Times Square bomber, and the recently arrested Jersey Jihadis, has been busted for soliciting hookers, some of them under 16.

"Is that you, Anwar?"

The probe of the 9/11 attacks soon led Washington FBI agents back to San Diego, where they found that al-Awlaki had twice been busted for soliciting prostitutes but had avoided jail time.  FBI sources say agents observed the imam allegedly taking Washington-area prostitutes into Virginia and contemplated using a federal statute usually reserved for nabbing pimps who transport prostitutes across state lines.  Now he’s back in Yemen, where he is on a hit list from the U.S. Government.

Authorities say charismatic terror leader Anwar al-Awlaki‘s knack for mesmerizing young Westerners to wage jihad is at the heart of the botched plot hatched by two New Jersey men to kill U.S. soldiers.

“Awlaki’s been moving up the terrorist food chain for several years now,” said a U.S. official familiar with his classified dossier. “He’s gone from propagandist to operational figure within AQAP [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], which has become more interested in external plotting over time, including planning attacks against U.S. interests at home and abroad.

Time and time again, from the Fort Hood, Tex., massacre to the underwear bomber to the Times Square plot, Awlaki’s name ends up in the thick of it – giving him the dubious distinction of being the only U.S. citizen marked for death by his own government. Prosecutors say the two Jersey jihadists watched numerous video and audio recordings that promoted violent jihad, including lectures by Awlaki and videos featuring attacks by Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups.

Awlaki’s latest success with inspiring followers to wage anti-U.S. jihad was the two New Jersey men arrested Saturday at Kennedy Airport on their way to join Somalia‘s Al Qaeda-tied Al Shabaab after listening to his speeches. Besides his rants, a major reason for Awlaki’s influence is that, unlike core Al Qaeda leaders, he has been remarkably accessible: He has a Web site and answers his e-mail.

The U.S. tried to kill Awlaki and two other senior AQAP leaders in a Yemen air strike Dec. 24, the day before his “student” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner with a liquid explosive bomb tucked into his undies.

Awlaki had long been on the radar screen of U.S. counterterror officials – who allowed him to leave the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks despite having told the FBI he knew three of the hijackers from mosques he worked at in San Diego and Falls Church, Va., outside Washington. NY DAILY NEWS

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