NEFA: Backgrounder on Anwar al Awlaki
By Madeleine Gruen
This backgrounder on Anwar al Awlaki, written in February of this year, is now posted here for the first time.
U.S. government agencies are increasingly concerned about the ability of pro-Jihad ideologues to use the Internet to incite U.S.-based Muslims to conduct terrorist attacks. Indeed, there have been several terrorism cases in the years since 9/11 in which actors based in Western countries were influenced by lectures, writings, and videos downloaded from the Internet.
Anwar al Awlaki (a.k.a. Anwar al Aulaqi), an American who lives in Yemen, who is regarded as an Islamic scholar, may be a key player in Al-Qaida’s efforts to radicalize and incite American Muslims to commit terrorist acts.
A U.S. citizen, al Awlaki was born in New Mexico in 1971. After his father completed his college studies, the family returned to Yemen, where al Awlaki remained until 1991, then he came back to the U.S. to study for a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Colorado State University. He then went on to San Diego State University for a Master’s in Education Leadership. While in San Diego, he served as an imam at Rabat mosque. In 2001, he enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Human Resource Development at George Washington University, where he worked as the Muslim chaplain. At that time, he was also an imam at Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, VA. He left the U.S. in 2002 and lived in London,where he also gained a following. He moved to Yemen in 2004.
The rest of the report can be viewed here.
November 10, 2009 09:19 PM Link