What the Left/Islamic apologists and even Republicans in the main do not understand is this Imam was not fighting in Afghanistan as a friend of the West and foe of the Soviet Union. He was engaged in fulfilling his obligation to enlist to support a defensive jihad based upon his commitment to Sharia/the Umma.
And the war AQ and now others bring against the U.S., both kinetic and otherwise, can easily be justified via usul al fiqh as a defensive jihad and thus obligatory—and thus not requiring any reliance upon the jurisprudential requirements under Sharia to engage in offensive jihad (which most ulema posit requires a legitimate Caliph) and the concomitant disputations about the status of AQ or IS as true Caliphates.
Bottomline: no one will even ask of this imam’s commitment to Sharia and what that means . . .