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American, Like You

American, Like You

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Published by Robert F Jursik

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Published by: Robert F Jursik on Oct 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Our story begins in the early 1970s when an agricultural economist from Yemen named Nasser Al-Aulaqireceived a Fulbright Scholarship and a guest visa to come to the United States with his wife and earn a
Master’s degree from New Mexico State University. He would later earn a doctorate at Nebraska and
perform research at the University of Minnesota. In 1971, his wife delivered a child whom they namedAnwar. In 1978, seven-year-old Anwar and his family returned to Yemen.In 1991, a now-twenty-year-old Anwar Al-Awlaki received a foreign student visa to return to the UnitedStates and study at Colorado State University. He listed his birth country as Yemen, and had received aYemeni government scholarship. Over the next ten years, Anwar Al-
Awlaki received his Master’s and
Doctoral degrees in education leadership, all under American foreign student visas and scholarshipsfrom Yemen. At no point did Al-Awlaki pursue or claim American citizenship. During this time, Al-Awlakialso received training during the summer months with the Afghani mujahedeen and began preaching ina number of Al Qaeda-affiliated mosques. Because of his Yemeni heritage, post-graduate education, andhis familiarity with English, Al-Awlaki was afforded significant respect among the Muslim faithful,although the more experienced imams privately became dismayed at his ignorance of authentic Islamicdoctrines.Over this time, Al-Awlaki became increasingly fascinated by jihadist ideology and a radical interpretationof the Koran. He was listed as a spiritual advisor to at least two of the 9/11 hijackers. In 2004, Anwar Al-Awlaki returned to Yemen with his family and began a career of active recruitment for Al Qaeda and the jihadist cause. His English skills, high education and experience in website development and digitalcommunications made him especially effective at attracting disaffected British and American Muslims to jihadist activism.
“Underwear Bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as well as Fort Hood shooter Nidal
Hasan both conducted lengthy and gushing correspondences with Al-Awlaki. In a 2008 message sent toSomalian terrorists, Al-Awlaki
tendered his congratulations on their efforts, saying “The ballot has failedus, but the bullet has not.” He was significantly adept at videotaped messages, such as the one released
in March 2010 which featured Islamic calls-to-arms like this:
“To the Mu
slims in America, I have this to say: How can your conscience allow you to live inpeaceful coexistence with a nation that is responsible for the tyranny and crimes committedagainst your own brothers and sisters? I eventually came to the conclusion that
America is binding upon myself just as it is binding upon every other able Muslim.”
 On Friday, September 30
, Anwar Al-Awlaki and three other Al Qaeda operatives were killed by missilestrikes fired by American Predator drones in Yemen.Praise for the killing of one of the most dangerous terrorist recruiters in the world was nearly universal.However, the exceptions were notable, not least of which is presidential candidate and US Rep. Ron
Paul, who decried the killing of “an American citizen” by an American president, and who most recently
suggested that impeachment of Barack Obama would be an appropriate remedy. Like his willingness toaccept a nuclear Iran, or his reluctance to effect regime change in the terrorist-supporting governmentsof Iraq or Afghanistan, or even in his misguided flirtations with narcotic legalization and elimination of the Federal Reserve
Paul is not only wrong but dangerously so.

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