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WORLD BRIEFING : YEMEN : Imam discusses Ft. Hood suspect

November 16, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The radical Muslim imam who communicated with the Ft. Hood, Texas, shooting suspect said he did not pressure Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to harm Americans, the Washington Post reported today.

In an interview with a Yemeni journalist contracted by the Post, Anwar al Awlaki said Hasan first e-mailed him in December. Eventually, Awlaki said, Hasan came to view him as a confidant.

Awlaki showed the journalist his correspondence with Hasan but would not provide it to the Post. He said Hasan questioned the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he said the Army psychiatrist cited Islamic law that demanded "that what America was doing should be confronted."

"So Nidal was providing evidence to Anwar, not vice versa," said the Yemeni reporter, Abdulelah Hider Shaea.

Hasan, 39, was charged Thursday with the Nov. 5 rampage, in which 13 died.

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