Want to get radicalized? It’s as easy as an app on your cell phone, reported PJ Media. Google Play (the app store for Android phones) offers a number of apps featuring lectures from arch-recruiter and senior al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American cleric of Yemeni descent.
Although the app that PJ Media originally reported on less than 10 days ago, the “Anwar Al Awlaki Lectures,” appears to have been deleted, at least five more apps of al-Awlaki’s talks remain available on Google Play.
Al-Awlaki was linked to a number of terrorist attacks across the world. While still in the U.S. and acting as the imam of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virgina, he preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers, who were al-Qaeda members.
In 2001, he presided at the funeral of the mother of Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist. The two later had an extensive email correspondence before Hasan carried out his deadly jihad shooting at Fort Hood.
Al-Awlaki was also linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 2009 Christmas Day
bomber, and may also have been involved in planning that failed attack on an American airliner.
Al-Awlaki’s blog, Facebook presence and many YouTube videos inspired – and continue to inspire — many young, impressionable Muslims, directing them toward violence.
(Despite the promise of internet platforms to remove extremist content, a quick search of YouTube yields over 8,000 results when searching for al-Awlaki.)
Although al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in (making him the first United States citizen to be targeted and killed by a U.S. drone strike), his legacy lives on as the “bin Laden of the Internet” (so dubbed by the Saudi news outlet Al-Arabiya).
The uploading of YouTube videos many be harder to control by social media giant Google, who owns the platform, due to the nature of the medium.
However, every app that Google features in its store must go through a review process and be approved. Certainly, no apps that feature the lectures of this radical preacher should be given a pass.
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