Although I suspect it is the BBC they mean, I often hear that American news is not as accurate as British news. I have my doubts. However, not too far from Fort Hood, I find this article that seems to give us more insight than the local or even the national. Not that, of course, that insight wasn’t what we expected. It describes the Iman of the mosque at which Hasan had worshipped as he counseled soldiers at Walter Reed. (Of course, thanks to Instapundit.)
Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother’s funeral was held there in May that year.
The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.
Hasan’s eyes “lit up” when he mentioned his deep respect for al-Awlaki’s teachings, according to a fellow Muslim officer at the Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of Thursday’s horrific shooting spree.
Charles Allen, a former under-secretary for intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security, has described al-Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen, as an “al-Qaeda supporter, and former spiritual leader to three of the September 11 hijackers… who targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen”.
I’m quite willing to acknowledge that the charming friend of my daughter from Pakistan and the guys who ran the filling station with the best hamburgers in town or my thoughtful & cheerful Egyptian student are not terrorists. That doesn’t mean that Hasan’s religion had nothing to do with his actions nor that this act was unconnected to terrorism. Perhaps that is true only in the broadest terms or perhaps he was a one-man (or more) sleeper cell. I don’t know. I care. But I care more about the fact that an unwillingness to face uncomfortable facts is part of the reason that people in Fort Hood and across the country are mourning their dead and praying for their wounded.