May
07

RECOMMENDED READING: “Awlaki Acknowledges His Radical Past”

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The Investigative Project has posted an articled discussing the facts behind the radicalization of Anwar al-Awlaki, a former U.S. Muslim Brotherhood figure killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. The IP article begins:

IPT News May 4, 2012 When Anwar al-Awlaki emerged as the clear inspiration behind a series of terror plots in 2009, his former associates in America insisted he was radicalized well after leaving the United States in 2002. But in what might be his last published work, Awlaki explains that his involvement in violent jihad dated back to 1991, and that he hated the American government as far back as his college days. ‘Spilling out the Beans: Al Awlaki Revealing His Side of the Story,’ appeared this week in the final edition of al-Qaida’s English-language magazine Inspire. The clarification flies in the face of claims by American Muslim leaders that he had been radicalized by Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks, and motivated to violence following his 18 month imprisonment in Yemen, starting in 2006. At the heart of some Muslim leaders’ argument was a desire to distance themselves from Awlaki’s new public radicalism, and to twist the debate to focus on America’s role in creating a vengeful monster.” The clarification flies in the face of claims by American Muslim leaders that he had been radicalized by Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks, and motivated to violence following his 18 month imprisonment in Yemen, starting in 2006. At the heart of some Muslim leaders’ argument was a desire to distance themselves from Awlaki’s new public radicalism, and to twist the debate to focus on America’s role in creating a vengeful monster. “While employed at Dar Al-Hijrah, Imam Al-Awlaki was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community,” a statement from the imam’s former mosque in northern Virginia said after Awlaki died in a U.S. drone strike last fall. “However, after Mr. Al-Awlaki’s departure from the mosque in 2002 he was arrested by Yemeni authorities and allegedly tortured. It was then that Al-Awlaki began preaching violence,” they claimed, while condemning America’s assassination of Awlaki in a drone strike. These claims were echoed by major outlets like the New York Times and National Public Radio. They portrayed Awlaki as a victim of his circumstances, and accepted the moderation of the “eloquent” preacher who claimed he could have been “a bridge between Americans and one billion Muslims worldwide.”

Read the rest here.

Prior to 911, Al-Awlaki had been Imam of Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia and previous posts have detailed the extensive ties of Dar Al-Hijrah to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Previous posts have also discussed al-Awlaki’s ties to the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood as well as reporting that prior do his death, al-Awlaki had been residing in the homes of various Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

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