US planned to revoke Al-Awlaki's passport before drone strike killed him: Report
Radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was invited to the U.S. consulate in Sana'a in order for the embassy to revoke his passport, six months before he was killed by CIA drone strike in Yemen, it has emerged.
Newly released State Department documents, obtained by Judicial Watch and reviewed by Fox News, showed that the embassy was instructed to send a message to al-Awlaki requesting that he pick up an "important letter" in person at the embassy in March 2011.
This letter, which embassy employees were instructed not disclose to al-Awlaki before his appearance at the embassy, was the revocation of al-Awlaki's passport, based on a determination by the State Department that his "activities abroad are causing and/or likely to cause serious damage to the national security or the foreign policy of the United States," the report said.
According to the report, there's no evidence available that he ever collected the letter.
A former Diplomatic Security agent who worked for the State Department in the Middle East said that the revocation of the passport was "highly unusual."
The agent added that 'there may be a legal finding by the Justice Department that allowed State Department officials to take this extraordinary step.'
The report pointed out that pulling his passport would have had two effects, it would box al-Awlaki in, limiting his travel, and it would allow the administration to argue the CIA drone campaign targeted a foreign national, not an American citizen.
Al-Awlaki was a dual Yemen-U.S. national, the report added.