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Imam in Fort Hood case born in New Mexico

Nov. 11, 2009 at 6:34 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim imam who had communicated with suspected Foot Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was born in New Mexico, records indicate.

Awlaki, who knew three of the Sept. 11,2001, hijackers and praised Hasan as a "hero" after Thursday's massacre, maintained an e-mail relationship with him and now lives in Yemen. No indications of a wider relationship between the alleged shooter and overseas Islamic extremists have been been found among 10-20 e-mails, investigators said.

The Albuquerque Journal said New Mexico State University's Fall 2002 alumni newsletter notes that Awlaki's father, Nasser al-Awlaki, was named a distinguished international alumnus. The newspaper said the elder Awlaki earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from NMSU in 1969 and a master's in 1971, when Anwar al-Awlaki.

He eventually obtained a doctorate in agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska and from 1975 to 1977 he was a researcher and faculty member at the University of Minnesota before returning to Yemen in 1978, the Journal said.

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