Xmas bomb suspect claims radical imam told him to bomb jet

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Washington, Feb.6 (ANI): The suspect in the failed Christmas Day airliner attack has told federal investigators that radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki directed him to carry out his attempt at mass murder.

Fox News quoted reports published Friday as saying that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been helping in the hunt for al-Awlaki, an extremist cleric who has emerged as a prominent Al Qaeda recruiter since hiding in Yemen.

Abdulmutallab has been cooperating with the FBI for about a week, providing information about the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen and al-Awlaki's contacts there, CBS News reported.

The 23-year-old Nigerian's turn against al-Awlaki could provide fresh clues for authorities trying to capture or kill him.

Al-Awlaki has been linked to the 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood shootings and the botched Christmas Day bombing attempt.

Yemeni officials say they believe al-Awlaki met with Abdulmutallab.

Al-Awlaki, however, has denied ordering the attack in an interview that appeared on Al-Jazeera's Web site. (ANI)

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