The trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, sole suspect in the November 5, 2009 Fort Hood shooting, is set to begin August 20, 2012; he is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.
The following report, which comprises documentation by the MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor project, presents jihadi media interviews with Anwar Al-Awlaki, radical Yemeni-American sheikh and leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) who was killed in a drone strike on September 30, 2011, in which he discusses his relationship with Hasan and the Fort Hood shooting; reactions to the shooting from jihadi media outlets; recent remarks by online Al-Qaeda activists about the shooting as a model for future attacks; and reactions of other Al-Qaeda leaders: American Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn, AQAP leaders, the Taliban, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), and other jihadi groups.
The shooting by Hasan threw Al-Qaeda leaders, its main media outlets, and its followers online into paroxysms of ecstasy; as a U.S. Army serviceman carrying out a lone-wolf attack against other U.S. servicemen, he has been lionized by prominent jihadis of all stripes. Al-Awlaki called him a “hero” and a “man of conscience”; American Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn characterized him as a “pioneer, a trailblazer, and a role model”; Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its leaders praised him as a “hero” and an “heroic fighter,” and the Taliban called him “courageous.” The attack itself was termed “heroic” by Al-Qaeda’s American spokesman Adam Gadahn, Al-Awlaki, and others.
Al-Qaeda and jihadi groups worldwide are continuing to point to Hasan as a role model and the Fort Hood attack as a paradigm. Articles about Hasan have been turned into music videos, posted on YouTube and jihadi forums; his face is used for avatars for jihadis’ Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media accounts, and in media by the Al-Qaeda media company Al-Sahab and articles about him have been published in Inspire. In short, Maj. Nidal Hasan has become a jihadi legend.
Anwar Al-Awlaki On Maj. Nidal Hasan And The Fort Hood Attack
Al-Awlaki Article States Hasan Is His Student, Expresses Support For His Deeds – And Is Transformed By Online Jihadi Follower Into Jihadi Music Video
Four days after the Fort Hood attack, Al-Awlaki stated in an article he posted on his now-defunct website Anwar-alawlaki.com that Hasan was a “hero” and “a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a U.S. soldier.”
Justifying Hasan’s attack, Al-Awlaki continued: “The U.S. is leading the war against terrorism, which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges. Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact, the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the U.S. army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal. The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community…” Al-Awlaki concluded his posting by offering prayers for Hasan, “May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance, and steadfastness, and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen.”