*Part I in a series of posts on the political, religious, and social thought of the American Salafi preacher Anwar al-'Awlaqi. See PART II.
The American-raised Anwar al-'Awlaqi (generally transliterated as "Anwar al-Awlaki") is a jihadi ideologue who has become popular with English-speaking jihadi-Salafis during the last several years. Recently, he has been in the news media in the United States because of his connection to Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army officer and psychiatrist who is charged with going on a November 5 shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas, murdering 13 people and wounding another 30. Al-'Awlaqi described himself as Hasan's "mentor."
Al-'Awlaqi served as the prayer leader (imam) at several U.S. mosques, including Dar al-Hijrah in Falls Church, Virginia (15 minutes from the town where I grew up in northern Virginia), which is one of the largest mosques and Muslim community centers in the U.S. Several of the September 11, 2001 terrorist-hijackers went to Dar al-Hijrah for a period of time, as did Hasan. The center has been caricatured in some recent news stories as a "radical center." Though some radicals have attended Dar al-Hijrah, this blanket description is, at best, gross overreach. Literally thousands of people attend the center's services (mostly Muslim immigrants and Muslim-Americans who live in the nearby area, which is in a heavily-populated part of the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Virginia side.
Born in 1971, al-'Awlaqi was raised primarily in the U.S. He moved permanently from the U.S. to the London in 2002. Two years later, he moved to the Yemeni capital city of San'a, where he is associated with 'Abd al-Majid al-Zindani, Yemen's most famous and influential Salafi religious scholar, and al-Iman University, which was founded by al-Zindani.
One of al-'Awlaqi's most influential lectures, which exists in audio and written (transcribed) forms, is a commentary on a book by Yusuf al-'Uyayri (also transliterated as "al-'Uyayree" and "al-'Ayiri"), Constants on the Path of Jihad. Al-'Uyayri was the first amir ["leader" or "commander"] of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The monograph can be downloaded HERE.
The audio files, in mp3 format, can be downloaded at the following:
For those wary of going to jihadi web sites, I have uploaded both the transcript and audio files to "safe" file-sharing web sites.
See also Charles Cameron's analysis. He is a former associate scholar at the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University.