Fort Hood shooter has ties to radical US imam


Even as the FBI continues to investigate if Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan has links to al Qaeda, investigators are rushing to declare that he “acted alone and without outside direction,” the Associated Press reported.

Over at The Weekly Standard, Thomas Joscelyn takes a hard look at Anwar al Awlaki, the radical cleric who is linked to three of the 9/11 hijackers and who has fled the country to reside in Yemen, where he still preaches jihad. Now, the AP reports that Hasan has been in direct contact, via email, with Awlaki:

In late 2008, officials said, a separate investigation revealed Hasan’s communications with another individual they declined to identify. Separately, another U.S.official said the person Hasan was communicating with was Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical imam overseas who has come under scrutiny for possible links to terror groups. All of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case on the record.

Eventually, a joint terrorism task force learned of about 10 or 20 such communications between the two. Officials would not identify the exact type of communications, but al-Awlaki operates a Web site that invites readers to e-mail him.

And it gets more interesting. Alwaki praised Hasan’s actions on his blog:

Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.

Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact 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.

The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal’s operation.

The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.

Here is what we know about Hasan so far:

• Hasan attended the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Va., in 2001 at the same time as two of the 9/11 hijackers.

• Hasan openly praised Anwar al Awlaki, who preached at the Dar al Hijrah in 2001.

• Hasan had direct email communication with Awlaki.

• Hasan openly opposed the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Hasan told coworkers that US troops are legitimate targets both at home and overseas.

• Hasan praised the murder of two US soldiers who were killed outside a recruitment center in Little Rock, Ark., and said more such attacks should occur.

• On a web posting, Hasan said suicide bombings are justified and compared suicide bombers to US soldiers diving on a grenade to save their buddies.

• Hasan casually espoused his radical religious views to colleagues in the course of his work as a medical professional.

• Hasan was disciplined for proselytizing his radical religious views.

• Hasan gave away his Koran and other worldly good the morning before he carried out the attack.

• Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar” before murdering troops at Fort Hood.

• Hasan conducted his attack at a center where US soldiers were processing to prepare for deployment to Iraq.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • grh says:

    Evening reports indicate the Intel Community passed information about Hasan to the Counter Intel community (maybe the Army Counter Intel community). The “connect the dots”

  • KnightHawk says:

    All of that… but remember we can’t jump to any conclusions! P.C. is getting people killed.

  • J House says:

    Questions-1) if NSA/DIA/CIA/DI passed the information to the FBI, why didn’t they follow up and interview his college and working peers? FBI would have been told he had extremist views and showed a powerpoint that was more than odd.2) Why didn’t the FBI or Army personally interview him after having known he contacted an Islamic extremist in Yemen?3) What are the thresholds to open a FBI/DoD investigation into civlians/military personnel that have contact with extremists? Do they have to be plotting attacks to be interviewed or questioned?4) Was any investigation part of a WH briefing? If so, when?5) Was the Attorney General ever notified of Hassan’s ‘activities’? Who in the FBI/Justice Dept knew about Hassan and his contacts with a foreign extremist?
    This seems to be a major intelligence failure on the part of the FBI. While they have had no warning of a specific plot (we may never know if there was or wasn’t), it is reported they were given information that a major within the ranks of the Army had Islamic extremist views AND contact with an extremist in Yemen, and didn’t even interview him.

  • Cass says:

    I like PM Howard’s remarks about if you don’t like Australian society then you’re welcome to leave. How deeply can we really trust any of the Muslim military? I know most, the vast majority are assimilated, but obviously not all. How many will choose religion over duty?

  • KW64 says:

    In the old days, if something walked like a duck (ie goes to mosques with radical clerics, communicates with imams in Yemen with Al Queda ties) talked like a duck (ie justifies suicide bombers says he considers himself a Palestinian rather than an American and shouts Allahu Akbar) and looks like a duck (possesses multiple handguns one having an enormous clip in the midst of many shot people), it could be suggested that MAYBE this was a duck without being considered hasty or bigoted against duck like things. Now we have to posit that it may just be a misunderstood, discriminated against individual suffering from PRE-traumatic stress syndrome doing a research project — Ockham’s razor be damned.
    Such thinking would have gotten ancient man eaten while he posited whether a putative lion was: really a lion or a figment of imagination, whether said lion was actually hungry, whether if hungry it was indeed a man eater and finally whether the lion did not actually have a natural right to eat that should not be unnaturally thwarted.


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