Anwar al-Awlaki’s youngest brother, Ammar, was nothing like him.
While Anwar embraced a radical interpretation of Islam and preached
jihad against the United States, Ammar was pursuing a career at an oil
company in Yemen. Ammar was Canadian-educated and politically well
connected. He dressed in blue jeans, wore hip Armani eyeglasses and
sported a goatee. His hair was slicked back, and he had the latest
iPhone. In February 2011, Ammar told me, he was in Vienna on a business
trip. He had just returned to his hotel after sampling some of the local
cuisine with an Austrian colleague when the phone in his room rang.
“Hello, Ammar?” said a man with an American accent. “My wife knows your
wife, and I have a gift for her.”
Within some military and intelligence circles, it was the CIA
director's relationship with JSOC—not Paula Broadwell—that raised
Ammar went down to the lobby and saw a tall, thin white man in a
crisp blue suit. They shook hands. “Can we talk a bit?” the man asked,
and the two sat down in the lobby. “I don’t actually have a gift for
your wife. I came from the States, and I need to talk to you about your
“I’m guessing you’re either FBI or CIA,” Ammar said. The man smiled. Ammar asked him for identification.