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Hardline Cleric Blasts Journalist’s Detention

Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader in Yemen’s al-Qaeda organization called on the “honest Yemeni media inside and outside of Yemen to carry the banner from Abdul Ilah Haidar al-Shayi and continue the march he started to expose the crimes of the U.S and the Yemeni government in bombing the people of al-Majalah.

Al-Awlaki in a video posted in the internet called on media personnel and Abdul Ilah Haidar’s tribe and the people of Yemen to stand and support him.

“Abdul Ilah has done his duty exposing the U.S crimes in Yemen, and his struggle was to uncover the Yemeni-American conspiracy.

“Taiseer Alooni, Sami al-Haj, and Haidar are samples of decent journalism, the journalist is responsible for all that he presents before God to people,” al-Awlaki said.

“Haidar was a sound of reality in a world of deception which trumps up fabricated charges to cover the real reasosn behind his detention.” al-Awlaki said.

“Each house has to know about this conspiracy,” he added.

President Saleh had ordered Haidar’s release last Tuesday after less than two weeks of his 5 years conviction and two years of house arrest.  But the move was followed by the U.S president Barak Obama’s phone call, which expressed his concern over releasing Haidar.

The specialized criminal court for terrorism cases had ruled on January 18 for five years of prison and two years of house arrest to Haidar after his conviction in conjunction with an illegal armed gang, and work to recruit young men, including foreigners, to join al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula through communication with them over the Internet.

Shayi refused to appeal and said, “I am still detained by the Political and national security and the judiciary work for them.”

Anwar al-Awlaki was prosecuted in absentia in Yemen and is a father of five children.  A strict preacher whose lectures were spread on the internet,

he was prosecuted by a Yemeni court for belonging to al-Qaeda and incitement to kill foreigners, among them a French engineer last near Sana’a.

The U.N announced that he was among its black list, regarding him a member of the senior leadership of al-Qaeda.

al-Awlaki’s name came to light after it was discovered that he was in close contact with major Nidal Hasan, the military psychiatrist of Palestinian origin who was accused of opening fire on his colleagues in the barracks at Fort Hood in Texas, which resulted in the death of thirteen people.

Al-Awlaki called all Muslims in the U.S army to emulate what Nidal Hasan did.

It is also rumored that al-Awlaki had a relation with the person who executed the failed bombing of the U.S. aircraft which was on a flight between Amsterdam and Detroit during Christmas of 2009.

Nasser al-Wahayshi, leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has previously praised Alowlaqi in a audio recordings.

Alowlaqi belongs to a wealth family in Yemen. His father was a former minister and a former dean of the faculty of commerce atSana’a university.

He was born in 1971 in the US state of New Mexico and returned to Yemen, where he received his secondary education before he went bank again to study engineering in the U.S in 1991.

There he graduated from Colorado State University and went on to obtain a diploma in higher studies from the University of San Diego, according sources familiar with the details of his life.

During his years in the U.S, al-Awlaki started to preach in various mosques in the U.S.  He was also responsible for a charity belonging to the strict Islamic preacher Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, who is accused by Washington of being associated to terrorist groups.

Al-Awlaki has posted a series of audio and visual lectures on the life of  the Prophet Mohammed in English, which was sold online and received a huge following.

He was arrested in 2008 yet released after the mediation of Yemeni officials in condition that he remains in Sana’a, locked at the police station every day, yet after two months al-Awlaki left Sana’a towards Shabwa governorate “his origin” east of Yemen