Va. Imam Hails Hasan as 'Hero'

Spiritual adviser to 9/11 hijackers says shooter 'did right thing'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 10, 2009 2:40 AM CST
Updated Nov 10, 2009 5:52 AM CST
Flags and flowers mark the apartment, upper right, where Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan lived outside of Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – An imam who was spiritual adviser to two 9/11 hijackers and who once headed a Virginia mosque visited by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan has hailed Hasan as a "hero." A message on the web site of imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen, was entitled: "Nidal Hasan Did the Right Thing." Hasan "is a hero," Awlaki wrote. "He is a man of conscience who could not bear being a Muslim and serving in an army fighting his people," reports the New York Daily News.

Investigators are probing the link between Hasan and Awlaki, though they currently believe Hasan acted alone when he shot dead 13 soldiers at Fort Hood last week, according to officials. Hasan did attempt months ago to reach out to terrorists in al-Qaeda, sources have told ABC News. Army officials were told of the attempt, but it's not known what, if any, action they took.