Excerpt: Finding a wife for Anwar al-Awlaki

Finding a wife for Anwar al-Awlaki
Finding a wife for Anwar al-Awlaki

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Finding a wife for Anwar al-Awlaki 02:02

Story highlights

  • Morten Storm was a double agent for the CIA
  • He says Anwar al-Awlaki asked him to find the terrorist a wife
  • Morten Storm met the woman who would become al-Awlaki's wife through Facebook
  • For more on his story, watch CNN at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday
On 9 March 2010 I stood outside the international bus terminal on Erdbergstraße in Vienna, waiting for the 11 a.m. bus from Zagreb to arrive. It was cold and breezy, typical of March in the Austrian capital.
A steady stream of tourists emerged from the buses and headed to see the palaces of the Habsburgs.
Jed had told me there would be a CIA team shadowing me. I looked at a man in a cowboy hat on the street corner checking his watch.
Surely they would not be that obvious.
Double Agent Inside al Qaeda for the CIA
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Then I saw her. She wore a long black skirt as I had anticipated, but instead of being fully veiled, she was wearing a simple headscarf. A few stray strands of blonde hair fluttered in the breeze.
'As salaam aleikum. I'm Aminah,' she said in soft-accented English, fixing me with her blue-green eyes.
Despite the fact that Awlaki had instructed me to wear Western clothes to avoid suspicion, I had to keep my distance from a woman who was not related to me. I didn't even shake her hand. But I was impressed; the photos had not done her justice. Aminah was strikingly pretty, with full lips, high cheekbones and an angular nose. She looked several years younger than her age, thirty-two. Gwyneth Paltrow, I thought -- Anwar will love this girl.
I had come across her on a Facebook fan page for Awlaki in November 2009 -- two months after he had repeated his request that I find him a wife in the West. I had left a message on the site requesting support and Aminah had replied.
'What kind of support and are you in direct contact with Shaikh?' she wrote in her first message on 28 November 2009.
Two days later, after we exchanged several messages, she wrote this:
'I have one question tho. Do you know personally AAA? And if it is so, may I be so liberal to ask you something?
AAA was our code for Anwar al-Awlaki.
'Yes I do know him. Feel free to ask,' I replied immediately. She had written back:
'I sent Shaikh a letter by mail, I am not sure if I had his correct email address, but actually I was wondering will he search for a second wife, I proposed him a marriage, and I do not know how silly it is. But I tried.
Now, as I am in contact with you there is a possibility for you to get know me better in a way you can recommended me.
'I seek a way how to get out of this country, and I search a husband who will teach me and whom I can help a lot. I deeply respect him and the all things he do for this Ummah and I want to help him in any way.'
I wrote back:
'You will be wife number 3, as he already got two wives, however he don't stay with them because they are in the capital, and only see him now and then. But you will stay with him all the time, as you don't have a family there. You should expect hardship, and moving from place to place once in a while. Taking care of your duties in house as a wife. Be patience with all what you will see and face, as AAA may be expose to danger etc. and Allah is our protector. Can you accept this?'
She replied within ten minutes:
'I would go with him anywhere, I am 32 years old and I am ready for dangerous things, I am not afraid of death or to die in the sake of Allah. I didn't know he has 2 wife already. But I do not mind at all. I want to help him in his work ... I am good in housekeeping job [and] I'm willing to be a very hardworking and active wife.'