Anwar Al-‘Awlaki, al Qaeda linked Muslim Cleric on his contact with the Fort Hood Terrorist Major Hasan:
“Naturally, as I told you, the first message was asking for an edict regarding the [possibility] of a Muslim soldier killing his colleagues who serve with him in the American army. In other messages, Nidal was clarifying his position regarding the killing of Israeli civilians. He was in support of this, and in his messages he mentioned the religious justifications for targeting the Jews with missiles. Then there were some messages in which he asked for a way through which he could transfer some funds to us [and by this] participate in charitable activities.”
When it was first reported that Fort Hood Terrorist was corresponding with al Qaeda Cleric Anwar Al-‘Awlaki, investigators said it all seemed like part his psychological research duties. Last night Arab Network Aljazeera.net posted an interview with the cleric that seemed to dispute that assumption (Aljazeera only posted the interview on its Arabic site so we only have parts of the interview). Anwar Al-‘Awlaki faulted American foreign policy for creating the conditions which ignited the rampage in which 13 were killed, Coincidentally it was reported this morning that Anwar Al-‘Awlaki was killed in an air strike in Yemen, but now that report is disputed. According to CBS
“Until yesterday, Anwar was alive,” the source told CBS, adding that Thursday morning’s strikes were, “far from his house and he had nothing to do with those killed.”
Other sources in Yemen also said Awlaki was not living in the area targeted on Thursday morning, and that it was therefore highly unlikely he was killed in the strikes.
CBS News’ Khaled Wassef says it is possible there was confusion over the name Awlaki. A regional al Qaeda leader, identified as Mohammed Saleh al-Awlaki, appeared in video Wednesday at a rare and brazen public gathering of militants in Yemen’s Abyan province.
Following are excerpts from the Aljazeera.net interview with Al-‘Awlaqi:
Question: “What is your connection with Nidal Hasan, and when did it begin?”
Answer: “Nidal Hasan prayed at my mosque when I was imam at the Dar Al-Hijra mosque.”
Q: “When was your first meeting?”
A: “About nine years ago, when I was imam of the Dar Al-Hijra mosque in the capital Washington, a mosque which is one of the biggest Islamic centers in America.”
Q: “[There are] reports that there was more than that.”
A: “Brother Nidal used to contact me via email last year, until the middle of this year.”
Q: “When did the correspondence with Nidal begin?”
A: “I got the first message from Nidal on December 17, 2008.”
Q: “Who initiated the correspondence, you or him?”
A: “He initiated the correspondence with me.”
Q: “What did the correspondence contain?”
A: “He was asking about killing American soldiers and officers. [He asked] whether this is a religiously legitimate act or not.”
Q: “So he asked you that question about a year before the operation was carried out?”
A: “Yes. And I wondered how the American security agencies, who claim to be able to read car license plate numbers from space, everywhere in the world, I wondered how [they did not reveal this].”
Q: “What did Nidal want from you in his messages?”
A: “Naturally, as I told you, the first message was asking for an edict regarding the [possibility] of a Muslim soldier killing his colleagues who serve with him in the American army. In other messages, Nidal was clarifying his position regarding the killing of Israeli civilians. He was in support of this, and in his messages he mentioned the religious justifications for targeting the Jews with missiles. Then there were some messages in which he asked for a way through which he could transfer some funds to us [and by this] participate in charitable activities.”
Q: “There are other indications to your connections with Nidal, one of which is that you blessed what he did three days after he did it.”
A: “My support to the operation was because the operation that brother Nidal carried out was a courageous one, and I endeavored to explain my position regarding what happened because many Islamic organizations and preachers in the West condemned the operation. So it was necessary for me [to raise] a voice that is [myself] connected to the Muslims in America and the West, while at the same time is independent and explains the truth regarding what Nidal did, especially since the media tried to connect him to me from the very beginning.”
Q: “Why did you bless Nidal Hasan’s act?”
A: “Because Nidal’s target was a military target inside America, and there is no question about this. Then, also, those members of the military [i.e. the victims] were not regular soldiers; rather they were prepared and preparing themselves to go to battle and to kill downtrodden Muslims and to commit crimes in Afghanistan.”….
“I did not recruit Nidal Hasan to this operation; the one who recruited him was America, with its crimes and injustice, and this is what America refuses to admit,” Al-‘Awlaki said.
“America does not want to admit that what Nidal did, and what thousands of other Muslims do against America, is because of its unjust policies against the Islamic world. Nidal Hasan is a Muslim before he is an American, and he is also from Palestine, and he sees the oppression of the Jewish oppression of his people under American cover and support. True, I may have a role in his intellectual direction, but nothing beyond that, and I am not trying to absolve myself of what he did because I do not support it. No, but because I wish I had had the honor of having a bigger role in what happened than the role I really had.”
Al-‘Awlaki supplied AlJazeera.net with copies of his email exchanges with Hasan. After reading the documentation, the reporter, Abd Al-Ilah Heidar Shane’, pressed further on the nature of their relationship. Reading the emails, he said, “I found that he trusts you and respects you, and now you are telling me that [you have] no direct or strong relationship with him?”
“I told you about the correspondence, and I explained it, and I even gave you [those original copies], so that you can publish it, because the American administration forbade its publication,” Al-‘Awlaki said. “Why don’t they want this correspondence out? What is the reason? [By banning it from publication,] do they want to cover up their security failure, or is it because they do not want to admit that Nidal Hasan is a man of principles, and that he did what he did in the service of Islam? They want [the operation] to be viewed as individual, unexpected behavior, that has no connection to the conduct of the criminal American army.”
Two months after Major Hasan shot and killed 14 people at Fort Hood our government is still figuring out what to call it? Of course it is terrorism Hasan did not snap and have a mental breakdown, his horrific act was in planning for at least a year, Al-‘Awlaki confirmed that to Al Jazeera. The investigators who saw the emails ignored the threat at it resulted in 14 deaths. What is disturbing is that our government is still ignoring the threat. That’s why it is so important to call Hasan’s action what it is…an act of terror, home grown terror. If our criminal authorities don’t start recognizing the domestic threat there will be many more Major Hasan’s threatening our lives.