Yemeni American cleric
Anwar al-Aulaqi taught and corresponded with the suspect in the
attempted Dec. 25 airline bombing but did not order the attack, Aulaqi
said this week.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian, "is one of
my students; yes, we were in correspondence" Aulaqi said in an
interview published Tuesday in Arabic by al-Jazeera.net. "But I did not
give (him) a fatwa in regards to this operation." In Islam, a fatwa is
an order by a recognized religious authority.
The interview was
the first to claim direct contact with Aulaqi since the attempted
attack but did not indicate when or where it took place. An
introduction to the question-and-answer format said it was rushed
because of "security conditions and precautions."