Imam Anwar al-Awlaki was contacted by Fort Hood gunman Nidal Malik Hasan, according to law enforcement sources.
Who is Anwar al-Awlaki? Imam contacted by Fort Hood gunman Nidal Malik Hasan has long radical past
Wednesday, November 11th 2009, 11:04 AM
BY ETHAN SACKS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
The American-born imam who preached to both the Fort Hood shooting suspect and two of the Sept. 11 hijackers at a Washington, D.C., mosque in 2001 has been under investigation by U.S. intelligence for years.
Anwar al-Awlaki is back in the news after praising Nidal Malik Hasan’s actions in the rampage on the U.S. Army base that claimed the lives of 13, calling the disgruntled major “a hero” on his blog.
“He is a man of conscience who could not bear the contradiction of being a Muslim and fighting against his own people,” Awlaki writes.
The accused mass murderer exchanged 10 to 20 “electronic communications” with Awlaki, sources had told ABC News.
Investigators, however, have had Awlaki on their radar for a long time — at least since the Sept. 11 attacks. The FBI questioned him about his role as “spiritual adviser” to Sept. 11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hamzi and Hani Hanjour at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va.