Yemeni Cleric Says He Did Not Order Dec. 25 Attack

February 6, 2010 02:26


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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 "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."

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