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Fort Hood shooting: Was Nidal Malik Hasan inspired by militant cleric?

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The investigation of Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist suspected of murdering 12 soldiers and wounding 30 others in last week's shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas, is uncovering evidence of a man deeply interested in the minority branch of Islam that views non-Muslims as dangerous infidels and endorses the use of violence to deter America from its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and from support for Israel.

Medical colleagues in the Army have told reporters that he gave a presentation in which he warned in graphic detail of the torments waiting for nonbelievers in hell. Army investigators say there is no evidence yet that the actions he's accused of committing were carried out with anyone's assistance, but they have also zeroed in on his apparent email contact with miliant preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico in 1971 and is now believed to be living in his parents' homeland of Yemen.

Mr. Awlaki is a leading light among militant Sunni preachers seeking to reach out to English-speaking Muslims and encourage them to engage in jihad in the West. He's at the forefront of the effort to create more "homegrown" jihadis, whose language skills and passports help them operate in the US and Europe.


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