CommunityFDL Main BlogThe Dissenter

Blaming US-Born Cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki for Inspiring Boston Bombing

Anwar al-Awlaki

There is no concrete evidence that the brothers, who are suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon, were inspired by US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Yet, CNN has posted a report with the headline, “From the grave, the cleric inspiring a new generation of terrorists,” that promotes this new detail as if it is certainly true.

Al-Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011, along with another US citizen, Samir Khan. No charges or indictment had been issued against him (or Khan for that matter).

On Tuesday, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, had watched videos on the Internet that may have inspired their decision to engage in violence:

Investigators say he claims they had no contact with any foreign terrorist organization and they were self-radicalized on the Internet. The preachings of cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed several years ago in a drone strike, were — quote — “likely” — unquote — to have been among the videos the Tsarnaev brothers watched in this process, according to this official, likely.”

Tapper also articulated it this way during “Starting Point” when asked if they were radicalized online by watching videos:

That’s as of now, that’s what Dzhokhar is saying. And we should say we’ve seen this before, this is one of the reason why the cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki put up videos online. He’s now — he’s now been killed by a drone strike. But that’s why he did it, to radicalize individuals in different parts of the world.

And apparently some videos like that, we don’t know if it’s al-Awlaki or not, some videos like that did, in fact, radicalize the Tsarnaev brothers, especially it seems, Tamerlan. [emphasis added]

It is possible the “likely” is being used because the investigators have not been able to confirm what Tsarnaev told them during his interrogation—that videos he viewed were of al-Awlaki. But, then, there are multiple tidbits from his interrogation that have been disclosed by agents or investigators connected to the investigation. Those tidbits have been more substantiated than this tidbit that supposedly indicates the brothers were inspired by al-Awlaki. [cont’d.]

Previous post

What if NRA’s Lobbyists Worked for You?

Next post

Why the Sequester Strategy Is Doomed to Fail

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."