Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi called on all Muslims serving in the US army to follow the example of Major Nidal Hasan who stands accused of killing 13 comrades, in an Internet video posted on Sunday. "What Nidal Hasan did was heroic... and I call on all Muslims serving in the US army to follow his path," Awlaqi said in a video posted by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), SITE reported.
"Nidal Hasan is one of my students and I am honoured by that," he said in the video.
Hasan, who is of Palestinian origin, was "defending his nation" and killed American soldiers on their way to Afghanistan and Iraq, the cleric said.
Awlaqi also defended Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian student accused of a failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger plane with explosives last Christmas. The operation "was very successful even though it did not even kill anyone," he said. "Those who were to be killed in the plane are nothing compared to... a million women and children in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan," whom he accused the US military of having killed. "We must treat them the same way and attack them just like they've attacked us."