Interview with Imam Anwar al-Awlaki – the first publication in English from December 2009


Anwar-3 (2)

‘Nidal Hassan was recruited by American crimes…so if he is executed then congratulations to him for becoming a martyr.’

By: AbdulElah Hider Shyea

Translated By; Imam Anwar Al-awlaki


While the US is busy defending its boarders and internal security by bolstering its presence in Afghanistan, it was confronted with a threat from an unexpected corner, the army which is supposed to be defending the country. That occurred on the 5th of November when an American Muslim officer from a Palestinian background killed 13 and injured 32 others when they were on their way to be deployed to Afghanistan.

The name of Shaikh Anwar al Awlaki (38 years old), an American Yemeni, was mentioned in connection with the shooting because of an article he posted on his blog supporting what Nidal has done and considering it to be a valid Islamic act of Jihad.
 I Interviewed  Shaikh Anwar (Dec 2009 ) and asked him about his relation to Nidal and his views on the Fort Hood shooting.

  • What is your relationship to Nidal Hassan and when did it start?

Brother Nidal, may Allah protect him and give him perseverance, used to pray at my mosque, Dar al Hijrah when I was the Imam there.

  • But there are media reports that claim that there is a more direct relationship between you and Nidal?

Nidal and myself also corresponded through email during the past year.

  • When did you first meet with Nidal?

The first meeting was when I was the Imam at Dar al Hijrah mosque nine years ago.

  • There are indications that your connection with Nidal is deeper since you have approved the shooting three days after it happened?

My approval of the shooting was because what Nidal did was a heroic act and I was keen on presenting my view on the operation because the media was already mentioning my name in connection to it. Many of the Islamic organizations and scholars in the US condemned the shooting so there was a need for someone who is connected to the Islamic scene in the US to speak out and present the truth.

  • When did the correspondence between you and Nidal begin?

The first email I received from Nidal was on the 17th of December, 2008.

  • Who emailed the other first?

Nidal emailed me first.

  • What was the question about?

He asked me about the permissibility of killing US soldiers by a Muslim American who is serving in the US army.

  • He asked you this question a year before the shooting?

Yes, and I am surprised at how the US intelligence agencies failed to notice that when they claim that they know so much to the extent that they once claimed they could read any car plate anywhere in the world!

  • How could you approve of what Nidal did when he has betrayed his country?

The most important thing is to not betray your religion. Serving in the US army and fighting against Muslims is a betrayal of Islam. America today is the Pharaoh of yesterday. America is an enemy of Islam. Therefore it is not allowed for a Muslim to serve in the US army unless his intention is to follow the footsteps of our brother Nidal.
Loyalty in Islam is to Allah, His Messenger and the believers and is not to the dirt under our feet which we refer to as nation and homeland. Therefore an American Muslim has his loyalty towards the Muslim Ummah and not towards America. Brother Nidal has given us a living example of his understanding of this principle through his blessed act so may Allah reward him the best reward for that.

  • Are you therefore claiming that you have no connection to the Fort Hood shooting?

I did not recruit Nidal Hassan. and tyranny and that is what America does not want to admit. America does not want to admit that what Nidal did, and what thousands of other Muslims are doing in fighting against the US, is a reaction to American oppression towards Muslim around the world. Nidal Hassan, before being an American, is a Muslim and he is also a Palestinian who sees what the Israelis are doing against his own people with American support and cover.
Yes I may have influenced Nidal’s understanding of Islam and may have provided him with guidance but my influence does not go further than that. I am not trying to disconnect myself from what Nidal did out of fear or disapproval. To the contrary, I would love to have played a more important role than what I did.

  • Why did you approve what Nidal Hassan did if you didn’t have a direct connection to the shooting?

Because the target was a military one so there is no difference of opinion on its legitimacy from an Islamic point of view. In addition to that, these were not off-duty soldiers but were serving and were on their way to be deployed to Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims and commit crimes against us. So how could I or any other Imam remain silent after hearing some of those who claim to be Islamic scholars condemning Nidal’s blessed operation? If there is a difference of opinion in Islamic circles over operations where some non-

  • Combatants may die, what justification do they have here for condemning this operation which was a purely military one?

You spoke to me before regarding your correspondence with Nidal and you have given me a copy of the emails he exchanged with you. After taking a look at them it is clear he trusts and respects you. However, you say that you have no direct relationship with what happened?
I have given you a copy of the emails in order to publish them because the US administration has banned their publication. Why is the US administration -that claims transparency-trying to conceal the emails? Are they trying to hide their intelligence incompetence? Or they do not want to admit that Nidal Hassan is a man of principle and that he has performed his operation as a service to Islam. The government is going out of its way to paint the shooting as an individual act that has nothing to do with the atrocities committed by the criminal American army.

  • Back to the emails, what did Nidal write to you about?

As I mentioned to you the first letter was about the permissibility of killing American soldiers. In some letters Nidal would explain his views on Palestinians firing rockets into Israel. He was supportive of that even if the rockets target civilian locations and he mentioned practical and religious reasons to support this view. Other letters where inquiring about ways to send us money for charity purposes.

  • Do you think Nidal would face the death penalty?

This is a possibility. Anyway we are praying for Nidal. We ask Allah to grant him steadfastness and to guide him toward that which is best for him.

  • If Nidal is executed, what would be your reaction?

I would ask Allah to accept him as a martyr. Nidal did not do what he did if he didn’t expect martyrdom. So if he is executed then congratulations to him for becoming a martyr.


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