The Case Of The Disappearing Website

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TIME’s Bobby Ghosh files this post:

The website of the radical imam who may have advised Maj. Nidal Hasan has been shut down. Anwar Al-Awlaki’s site no longer has anti-West, pro-Al-Qaeda messages. In its place is a generic message: “What you need, when you need it,” and an offer to sell the domain name anwar-alawlaki.com.

Just yesterday, the site prominently displayed a piece by Awlaki praising Maj. Hasan as a “hero,” and exhorting other Muslims in the U.S. military to follow in his footsteps.

Counterterrorism experts say Awlaki ran a sophisticated online operation, targeting a Western audience: his essays and preachings were published in English. The imam, born in New Mexico, is based in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. But in 2001, he was imam at a mosque in Falls Church, near Washington; Maj. Hasan may have been one of his congregants. Reports today suggest Maj. Hasan wrote several e-mails to Awlaki in late 2008, and received some replies; the details of these messages have not been made public.

The FBI has not yet responded to queries about Awlaki or his site.

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