It seems marketing may be another skill terrorist ideologue Anwar Al-Awlaki learned growing up in America.
Awlaki's profile has soared since October, when it was discovered that he inspired Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan to carry out a shooting rampage, killing 13 of Hasan's fellow soldiers. Most recently, he was tied to the failed Times Square bombing. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), documented significant quotes from the Awlaki interview.
He accused America of attempting to destroy authentic Islam by replacing it with a "culture of servility." Awlaki also praised Hasan:
"Nidal Hasan is a student of mine, and I am proud of this. I am proud that there are people like Nidal Hasan among my students. What he did was a heroic act, a wonderful operation. I ask Allah to make him steadfast, to protect him, and to free him. I support what he did, and I call upon anyone who calls himself a Muslim, and serves in the US army, to follow in the footsteps of Nidal Hasan. Good deeds erase bad ones. In addition, I call upon [all] Muslims to follow in his footsteps, and to wage Jihad by speech or by action. Nidal Hasan set a wonderful example, and I ask Allah to make it a beginning, and that many other Muslims will follow in his footsteps."
He cast the battle in theological terms, not simply the product of a single issue or grievance:
"The war today between the Muslims and the Americans is not just about oil, not just about a maritime strait, and not just about controlling a land or a sea. It is not just a war over Palestine, Iraq, or Afghanistan. True, these are all among the reasons for the conflict, but in its essence, hart, and core, this is a war about the belief in Allah's unity. America wants to destroy the Islam that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. They want to replace it with the falsified Islam that I mentioned."
Lost amid the focus on his call to murder is an interesting comment Awlaki made about his life in America. He said that he and unspecified Muslim organizations took advantage of American freedom of speech to promote violent jihad in Muslim lands:
"[US Muslim] organizations used to support the Jihad in Afghanistan, in Bosnia, in Chechnya, and in Palestine. I was there, in America, at that time. We used to call from the pulpits to everything in Islam: Jihad for the sake of Allah, the establishment of the Caliphate. Allegiance and Disavowal. We could speak freely. The freedom in America allowed us to say these things, and we had much more freedom than in many of the countries of the Islamic world."
If that's the case, then instead of a grand theological shift towards violence, he has simply redirected the target of his jihad from liberating Muslim lands towards striking the heart of the spiritual enemy he sees threatening the life of his religion:
"My message to the Muslims in general, and to those in the Arabian Peninsula in particular, is that we should participate in this Jihad against America. Today, America leads the global Crusader campaign against the Muslims. The America of today is the Pharaoh of the past. We should take part in it. We have a glimmer of hope in this small band of mujahideen in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in Somalia, who have managed to bring the US army to its knees. Due to this Jihad, the US economy is reeling today. If that small band of mujahideen have managed to defeat America, imagine what would happen if the Islamic nation rose up. America cannot withstand this Islamic nation. It is too weak. America's cunning is weaker than a spider web."