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Terrorist Imam Was Hasan’s ‘Confidant’

From the Washington Post:

Cleric says he was confidant to Hasan

In Yemen, al-Aulaqi tells of e-mail exchanges, says he did not instigate rampage

By Sudarsan Raghavan
Monday, November 16, 2009

SANAA, YEMEN — In his first interview with a journalist since the Fort Hood rampage, Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi said that he neither ordered nor pressured Maj. Nidal M. Hasan to harm Americans, but that he considered himself a confidant of the Army psychiatrist who was given a glimpse via e-mail into Nadal’s growing discomfort with the U.S. military.

The cleric said he thought he played a role in transforming Hasan into a devout Muslim eight years ago, when Hasan listened to his lectures at the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Northern Virginia. Aulaqi said that Hasan "trusted" him and that the two developed an e-mail correspondence over the past year

Explaining why he wrote on his Web site that Hasan was a "hero," According to [a Yemeni journalist and terrorism expert with close ties to Aulaqi whom The Post contacted to conduct the interview Abdulelah Hider] Shaea, Aulaqi said: "I blessed the act because it was against a military target. And the soldiers who were killed were not normal soldiers, but those who were trained and prepared to go to Afghanistan and Iraq."

Aulaqi’s statements reflect the increasingly radical path he has taken since settling in Yemen in 2004. Print, video and audio files of his words have been found on the private hard drives of terrorism suspects in Canada in 2006 and in the United States in 2007 and 2008. He also wrote congratulations to al Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group leading an insurgency in Somalia, after it apparently used the first U.S.-citizen suicide bomber last fall

On Dec. 23, 2008, days after he said Hasan first e-mailed him, Aulaqi also posted online words encouraging attacks on U.S. soldiers, writing: "The bullets of the fighters of Afghanistan and Iraq are a reflection of the feelings of the Muslims towards America," according to the NEFA Foundation, a private South Carolina group that monitors extremist Web sites

Aulaqi described Hasan as a man who took his Muslim faith seriously, and who was eager to understand how to interpret Islamic sharia law. In the e-mails, Hasan appeared to question U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and often used "evidence from sharia that what America was doing should be confronted," the cleric told Shaea.

"So Nidal was providing evidence to Anwar, not vice versa," said Shaea. "Anwar felt, after seeing Nidal’s e-mails, that [Hasan] had wide knowledge of sharia law." Shaea said he interviewed Aulaqi in his house on Saturday in Shabwa, a province in southern Yemen that has become an extremist stronghold and where al-Qaeda is seeking to create a haven.

Aulaqi told Shaea that Hasan first reached out to him in an e-mail dated Dec. 17, 2008. He described Hasan introducing himself and writing: "Do you remember me? I used to pray with you at the Virginia mosque."

Initially, Aulaqi said he did not recall Hasan and did not reply to the e-mail. But after Hasan sent two or three more e-mails, the cleric said he "started to remember who he was," according to Shaea.

Aulaqi said Hasan viewed him as a confidant. "It was clear from his e-mails that Nidal trusted me. Nidal told me: ‘I speak with you about issues that I never speak with anyone else,’ " he told Shaea.

The cleric said Hasan informed him that he had become a devout Muslim around the time Aulaqi was preaching at Dar al-Hijrah, in 2001 and 2002. "Anwar said, ‘Maybe Nidal was affected by one of my lectures,’" said Shaea.

Of the dozen or so e-mails, said Shaea, Aulaqi replied to Hasan two or three times. Aulaqi declined to comment on what he told Hasan. Asked whether Hasan mentioned Fort Hood as a target in his e-mails, Shaea declined to comment.

Aulaqi said Hasan’s alleged shooting spree was allowed under Islam because it was a form of jihad. "There are some people in the United States who said this shooting has nothing to do with Islam, that it was not permissible under Islam," he said, according to Shaea. "But I would say it is permissible. . . . America was the one who first brought the battle to Muslim countries."

The cleric also denounced what he described as contradictory behavior by Muslims who condemned Hasan’s actions and "let him down." According to Shaea, he said: "They say American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan should be killed, so how can they say the American soldier should not be killed at the moment they are going to Iraq and Afghanistan?"

More evidence that somebody fell down on the job.

In the e-mails, Hasan appeared to question U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and often used "evidence from sharia that what America was doing should be confronted," the cleric told Shaea.

And yet the FBI, who reviewed these emails (probably in violation of several CAIR/ACLU edicts) between a US Army Major and a well known terrorist did not think this correspondence warranted an investigation?

If this could be pinned on President Bush the media would be outraged.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 16th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Terrorist Imam Was Hasan’s ‘Confidant’”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    Oh no .. goodness .. are we “rushing to conclusions?”

    How about getting rid of this blight on America that is o-blah-blah and gang just ASAP!!! Is that “rushing to conclusions”???

    ( .. or would that fall under “hope and change” .. wishful thinking ..)

  2. proreason says:

    Maybe the Inman’s primary function was to be Hasan’s romantic advisor.

    If there had been more contact, perhaps the frustrated romeo wouldn’t have been so angry at his fellow soldiers.

  3. beautyofreason says:

    Here is an example of the implosion of a culture from within.

    This terrorist was radicalized in Virginia. How much longer can we endure the moral and sociological relativism on the left, in the face of growing evil?


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