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Theo Padnos

Theo Padnos has studied Islam in Yemen and Syria. His book Undercover Muslim will be published later this year.

In Yemen

Theo Padnos, 28 January 2010

Three days after Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, murdered 13 of his colleagues at the Soldier Readiness Center in Fort Hood last November, Anwar Awlaki, an imam with whom he had been in email contact, posted a notice on his website. ‘Nidal is a hero,’ Awlaki wrote:

He opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan … How...

From The Blog
30 November 2010

‘When a Muslim land is attacked,’ Roshonara Choudhry told the police, ‘it becomes obligatory on every man, woman, and child and even slave to go out and fight and defend the land.’ Iraq had been attacked; Choudhry, under the influence of Anwar Awlaki’s teachings, believed it was her religious duty to do away with Stephen Timms MP. But why Timms? the police wondered. ‘I’m just one person and I did what I could,’ Choudhry said. The police accepted this explanation. What they found harder to accept, however, was her insistence that she had acted alone. They asked her who she went to with questions or for advice. ‘I don't ask anyone,’ she replied. ‘There's no one to ask.’ Instead, she had downloaded ‘over a hundred hours’ of Awlaki’s lectures. She also watched a lot of conversion narratives on YouTube. ‘I thought their life stories were interesting,’ she said. As a student at Abu Noor, a mosque academy in Damascus, I took part in videos of this kind.

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