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Awlaki calls for revenge

SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Americans are to blame for any terrorist attack on U.S. soil because of their support for leaders who are waging war on Islam, a radical Yemeni cleric said.

Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a Virginia native, earned a reputation as the ideological voice of militant Islam by the U.S. intelligence community.

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Awlaki is known for his extremist messages broadcast on the Internet. U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, the accused shooter in the November attacks at Fort Hood, Texas, was known to have contacted the cleric prior to his attack.

The cleric said in an interview with al-Jazeera that he was a mentor for Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to blow up a U.S. passenger plane Christmas Day.

"Umar Farouk, may Allah free him, is one of my students, and yes there was some contact between me and him, but I did not issue a fatwa allowing him to carry out this operation," he said of the Christmas Day plot.

He went on to blame the American people for choosing leaders who are waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan and advocating what he said was a pro-Israeli stance on the Middle East.

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"I believe the West does not want to realize this universal fact," he said. "Muslims in Europe and America are watching what is happening to Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, and they will take revenge for all Muslims across the globe."

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