Jihadists avenge Ft. Hood case in court
Washington – As Army prosecutors fight to be allowed to use evidence that Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan got religious instruction and encouragement from Mullah Anwar Awlaki, lawyers are suing the government for targeting him in a drone rocket attack.
A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, who served as a Mullah at the Falls Church, Virgina, mosque where Maj. Hasan worshipped during his training as an Army psychiatrist, Awlaki also taught jihad at a San Diego mosque.
He inspired the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, and at least one of the 9/11 hijackers who also participated in planning the assault on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, as well as an earlier failed attempt to bomb another destroyer, U.S.S The Sullivans.
|Mullah Anwar Awlaki|
When a drone rocket attack caught him riding in a pickup truck, he was tooling through the desert in Yemen, where he served as a top religious adviser to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A similar attack claimed the life of his 16-year-old son two weeks later.
A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., alleges that the act of targeting Awlaki is illegal, a violation of U.S. and international law, and seeks unspecified damages as may be established in litigation. (click here to read the lawsuit)
Lawyers for both the ACLU and The Center for Constitutional Rights are prosecuting the civil suit, which alleges that “Since 2001, and routinely since 2009, the United States has carried out deliberate and premeditated killings of suspected terrorists overseas. The U.S. practice of 'targeted killing' has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including many hundreds of civilian bystanders. While some targeted killings have been carried out in the context of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many have taken place outside the context of armed conflict, in countries including Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, and the Philippines. These killings rely on vague legal standards, a closed executive process, and evidence never presented to the courts.”
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair William H. McRaven, Special Operations Commander Joseph Votel, and CIA Director David Petraeus are named as defendants.
At least part of the evidence Army prosecutors seek to use against Dr. Hasan includes e-mail messages in which he “gushed” that he can hardly wait to join Awlaki and other jihadists in Islamic high heaven. Awlaki replied that the teachings of Islam justify murder in the name of Allah to spread the word of peace.