Jihadist cleric Aulaqi: I was a "confidant" of Hasan's

In his first interview with a journalist since the Fort Hood rampage, Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi said that he neither ordered nor pressured Maj. Nidal M. Hasan to harm Americans, but that he considered himself a confidant of the Army psychiatrist who was given a glimpse via e-mail into Nadal’s growing discomfort with the U.S. military.

The cleric said he thought he played a role in transforming Hasan into a devout Muslim eight years ago, when Hasan listened to his lectures at the Dar al-Hijra mosque in Northern Virginia. Aulaqi said that Hasan “trusted” him and that the two developed an e-mail correspondence over the past year…

Explaining why he wrote on his Web site that Hasan was a “hero,” According to Shaea, Aulaqi said: “I blessed the act because it was against a military target. And the soldiers who were killed were not normal soldiers, but those who were trained and prepared to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.”…

Of the dozen or so e-mails, said Shaea, Aulaqi replied to Hasan two or three times. Aulaqi declined to comment on what he told Hasan. Asked whether Hasan mentioned Fort Hood as a target in his e-mails, Shaea declined to comment.