In all likelihood Barack Obama first learned of Ayers and Dohrn in his college years. His claim to not know their terrorist background is ludicrous.
Barack Obama lived in Hawaii (1961-1967 and 1971-1979) until age five and again from age 10 to 18. In between he lived in Indonesia. After high school in Hawaii, Obama went to Occidental College (1979-1981), a liberal arts college in Los Angeles.
Obama's first public speech was at an Occidental event sponsored by the Students for Economic Democracy, a group affiliated with far left radical Tom Hayden and Hayden's militant group SDS (Students for a Democratic Society.) David Peck, an organizer of the Occidental rally, is now coordinating Americans in Spain for Obama. In 1969 Hayden's SDS began breaking into groups including a group calling itself Weatherman. The group proclaimed that the time had come to launch a race war on behalf of the Third World and against the United States. The new entity formed a terrorist cult and was given the name Weather Underground. Two of the Weather Underground founders were Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. The group is most famous for a campaign from 1969 through the middle 1970s of bombings and riots including the bombing of the US Pentagon in 1972. Roger Boesche, a professor of politics at Occidental, recalled Obama's role in the late 70's and early 1980's in protesting college investments in firms doing business in South Africa during the apartheid era, and a speech given by Obama to that end, sponsored by the Students for Economic Democracy. Obama was at Occidental in 1980 when Bernadine Dohrn surrendered to authorities.
The former leader of The Weather Underground surrendered on Dec 3, 1980 in Chicago after 11 years in hiding. She was accompanied by Bill Ayers, who also surrendered to authorities. Dohrn said: "I remain committed to the struggle ahead. I regret not at all our efforts to side with the forces of liberation". The former radical leader had at one time appeared on the FBI's list of 10 Most wanted Criminals. ("Facts on File" 1980, page 928)
Obama entered Columbia University in the fall of 1981. He said in an interview that he was involved with the Black Student Organization and anti-apartheid activities. He majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. It is completely inconceivable that a college student at that time who was so immersed in politics and student protest and anti-apartheid activities, as Obama clearly was, whether he wants to talk about it or not is irrelevant, would not be aware of Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers and know precisely who they were. The Wall Street Journal stated on September 11, 2008..." What can be said with some certainty is that Mr. Obama lived off campus while at Columbia in 1981-83 and made few friends. Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him." Or in the words of the writer Texasdarlin', "...it's not just Obama's academic files that are missing, but more curiously, the files of his life."
If Barack Obama didn't know who Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers were when he was 8, he clearly did when he was at Occidental in 1980 and gave a public speech at an Occidental event sponsored by the Students for Economic Democracy. Obama had to have known who Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were for the past twenty five years and there is possibly proof of that relationship in his hidden academic records. To believe otherwise is to be dangerously naïve.