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CSU Grad, Radical Cleric May Have Influenced Boston Bombing Suspects

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Investigator Rick Sallinger
Anwar al-Awlaki (credit: Muhammad Ud-Deen)

Anwar al-Awlaki (credit: Muhammad Ud-Deen)

DENVER (CBS4)- A radical cleric who graduated from Colorado State University may have influenced the suspected Boston bombers.

The surviving bombing suspect, Dzokar Tsarnaev, told investigators that he and his brother, the second suspect, watched Anwar al-Awlaki’s online sermons and that the bombings were inspired by al-Awlaki.

Al-Awlaki was born in America and educated in Colorado. He graduated with a degree in engineering from CSU. His radical teachings may have inspired terror in Boston.

Al-Awlaki served as an assistant to an Imam at the mosque he attended in Denver. That mosque is trying to distance itself from al-Awlaki and all those who preach hate.

“We promote peace and what’s happened lately in Boston, we denounce that,” said Denver Islamic Society President Hassan Essebar. “As a religious organization we make sure Imams have no political agenda.”

Al-Awlaki left Denver and moved to Yemen where he was a force behind the English language magazine “Inspire.” That magazine published an article on how to build a pressure cooker bomb like the kind believed to be used in Boston.

Al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike but his sermons live on in DVDs and online.

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