In an interview with Major Nidal Hasan’s old Imam Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, a number of quotes bring further clarification to the possible mindset of the Ft. Hood shooter. The cleric says that he played a role in transforming Hasan into a devout Muslim. He also was an Imam to several of the 9-11 terrorists and is said to have some ties to al-Queda.

While Hasan carried on correspondence by email with al-Aulagi for spiritual guidance the Imam claims that he did not ‘order or pressure’ the Major to carry out his attack. Nevertheless he did publically proclaim Hasan a ‘hero’ of Islam:

“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.”   …

“Fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today. The only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.”   …

“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. But I would say it is permissible. . . . America was the one who first brought the battle to Muslim countries.”

Response: ‘Spiritual guidance’ and teaching like this gives a context to possible motives and attitudes of the Ft. Hood shooter. The Imam may not have directly ‘ordered’ Maj.Hasan to carry out a terrorist act but his teaching obviously encouraged a mindset that could have contributed to it.     

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