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Nidal Malik Hasan

Nidal Malik Hasan

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Nidal Malik Hasan, USA
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

  is a United States Army officer and sole suspect in the November 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting
Fort Hood shooting
The Fort Hood shooting was a mass shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. In the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others...

, which occurred less than a month before he would have deployed to Afghanistan.

Born in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to parents who moved to the United States from a Palestinian town near Jerusalem, Hasan joined the Army while in college and became a psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. Prior to the shooting, Hasan had expressed extremist views which had been brought to the attention of his superiors and the F.B.I.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

. Hasan was discovered to have exchanged emails with Imam Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

 asking for spiritual guidance regarding violence. Al-Awlaki has since been linked to other attacks by radical Muslims, and he quickly blessed the Fort Hood operation because it was against a military target. Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 spokesman Adam Gadahn also praised the "Mujahid brother" as a "pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model." The attack was described by a Senate report as "the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001." General Jack Keane testified that the military "failed to deal with radicalization" as Hasan's "open displays of violent Islamist extremism was a violation of military rules" and should have been discharged.

However investigators in the FBI and U.S. Army determined that Hasan acted alone and as of yet have found no evidence of links to terrorist groups. They are satisfied that his communications with Awlaki, targeted
Targeted killing
Targeted killing is the deliberate, specific targeting and killing, by a government or its agents, of a supposed terrorist or of a supposed "unlawful combatant" who is not in that government's custody...

 in 2010 as a dangerous Al Qaeda leader, posed no threat at the time. Attorney General Eric Holder
Eric Holder
Eric Himpton Holder, Jr. is the 82nd and current Attorney General of the United States and the first African American to hold the position, serving under President Barack Obama....

 has declined to state that radical Islam was the major motive for Hasan's attack.
A Rasmussen poll
Rasmussen Reports
Rasmussen Reports is an American media company that publishes and distributes information based on public opinion polling. Founded by pollster Scott Rasmussen in 2003, the company updates daily indexes including the President's job approval rating, and provides public opinion data, analysis, and...

 found that 60 percent of likely American voters believed that the shootings should have been investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. Nevertheless, Hasan was not charged with terrorism and it was widely debated as to whether Hasan could be called a "terrorist". One terrorism analyst believed Hasan was "acting individually because he doesn't want to deploy overseas". Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder
Premeditated murder
Premeditated murder is the crime of wrongfully causing the death of another human being after rationally considering the timing or method of doing so, in order to either increase the likelihood of success, or to evade detection or apprehension.State laws in the United States vary as to definitions...

 and 32 counts of attempted murder
Attempted murder
Attempted murder is a crime in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.-Today:In English criminal law, attempted murder is the crime of more than merely preparing to commit unlawful killing and at the same time having a specific intention to cause the death of human being under the Queen's Peace...

. An Article 32 hearing, which determined whether Hasan would be fit to stand trial at court martial, began on 12 October 2010. Hasan was arraigned on 20 July 2011 and trial is scheduled for March 2012.

Early life


Hasan was born in Arlington, Virginia, to Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 parents who emigrated to the U.S. from al-Bireh
Al-Bireh
al-Bireh or el-Bira is a Palestinian city adjacent to Ramallah in the central West Bank, north of Jerusalem. It is situated on the central ridge running through the West Bank and is above sea level, covering an area of...

 in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. He attended Wakefield High School
Wakefield High School (Arlington County, Virginia)
Wakefield High School is one of three public high schools located in Arlington, Virginia, and is just one block away from Alexandria. There are 140 teachers and 1364 students as of March 2008. It is a fully accredited high school based on Virginia's Standards of Learning examinations...

 in Arlington, Virginia, for his freshman year, and attended William Fleming High School
William Fleming High School
William Fleming High School is a public high school in the Miller Court/Arrowood neighborhood of Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.A.. It is one of the two general enrollment high schools for the Roanoke City Public Schools.-History:...

 in Roanoke, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Roanoke is an independent city in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. state of Virginia and is the tenth-largest city in the Commonwealth. It is located in the Roanoke Valley of the Roanoke Region of Virginia. The population within the city limits was 97,032 as of 2010...

, after his family moved to Roanoke in 1985. He graduated from high school in 1988. Hasan, along with his two younger brothers, helped his parents run the family's restaurant in Roanoke.

Higher education, military service, and medical career


Hasan joined the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 immediately after high school, and served eight years as an enlisted soldier while attending college. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, and went on to attend medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a health science university run by the U.S. federal government. The primary mission of the school is to prepare graduates for service to the U.S. at home and abroad in the medical corps....

 ("USUHS" or "USU"). After earning his medical degree
Clinical psychology
Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development...

 in 2003, Hasan completed his residency
Residency (medicine)
Residency is a stage of graduate medical training. A resident physician or resident is a person who has received a medical degree , Podiatric degree , Dental Degree and who practices...

 in psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center was the United States Army's flagship medical center until 2011. Located on 113 acres in Washington, D.C., it served more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military...

. While an intern at Walter Reed, he received counseling and extra supervision.
According to the Washington Post, Hasan made a presentation titled "The Koranic World View As It Relates to Muslims in the U.S. Military" during his senior year of residency at Walter Reed, which was not well received by some attendees. He had recommended that the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 "should allow Muslims [sic] Soldiers the option of being released as "Conscientious objectors" to increase troop morale and decrease adverse events." On a previous slide he also explained that adverse events could be refusal to deploy, espionage or killing of fellow soldiers.

In 2009, he completed a fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry at the Center for Traumatic Stress at USUHS. Hasan was promoted from Captain to Major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

 in May 2009. Before being transferred to Fort Hood in July 2009, he received a poor performance evaluation.

Retired Colonel Terry Lee, who had worked with Hasan, later recalled that the fatal shooting of two recruiters in Little Rock, Arkansas greatly influenced Hasan. The suspect Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad later confessed he was an Al Qaeda terrorist though he was only charged with murder. Lee told Fox News that Hasan made "outlandish" statements against the American military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, that "the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor", referring to the US. While he had expressed hope Barack Obama would end both wars, he became more agitated, and frequently argued with soldiers. Hasan seemed happy about the shooting in Little Rock, except how the suspect was treated as a criminal. Hasan stated that we should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and said we should have more people like this one, and people should "strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square."

In contrast to reports of radicalism from his peers and investigations, his relatives in Palestine and the U.S. who spoke to the press painted a quite different picture of a quiet, peace loving and deeply religious man who served his country proudly, but suffered from racial harassment. Cousin Nader Hasan disputed that Hasan had ever been "disenchanted with the military", but that he dreaded war after counseling soldiers who had returned with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was "mortified by the idea" of deploying after told on a "daily basis the horrors they saw over there." Nader claimed that Hasan had been harassed by his fellow soldiers. "He hired a military attorney to try to have the issue resolved, pay back the government, to get out of the military. He was at the end of trying everything." Hasan's aunt also said that Hasan sought discharge because of harassment relating to his Islamic faith. An army spokesman could not confirm the relatives' statements; the deputy director of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council stated that the reported harassment was "inconsistent" with their records. His uncle Rafiq Hamad who lives in occupied territories in Ramallah said Hasan was a gentle and quiet man who was so weak that he fainted while observing childbirth, and instead chose psychiatry. He was deeply sensitive who once fed his pet bird from his mouth, and mourned the bird for months after it died. According to the uncle, "after he lost his parents he tried to replace their love by reading a lot of books, including the Koran." Also near Ramallah, cousin Mohammed Hasan said that "because he's a Muslim he didn’t want to go to Afghanistan or Iraq, and he didn’t want to expose himself to violence and death". Mohammed stated his cousin was a "pleasant young man" who was happy to have graduated and to be joining the army after his uncle and cousins had also served. They never talked about politics, and nothing seemed strange, but "He was being treated like a Muslim, like an Arab, rather than an American, he was being discriminated against"

In August 2009, according to a Killeen police report, someone vandalized Hasan's automobile with a key; repair was estimated at $1,000. Police charged another soldier, whom a neighbor said vandalized Hasan's vehicle because of Hasan's religion.

According to military records, Hasan was unmarried. However, David Cook, a former neighbor, said two sons were living with Hasan around 1997, and attending local schools. Cook said, "As far as I know, he was a single father. I never saw a wife."

Military awards and decorations


Hasan received the Army Service Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
The Army Service Ribbon is a military decoration of the United States Army that was established by the Secretary of the Army on 10 April 1981 as announced in Department of the Army General Order 15, dated 10 October 1990....

 as a private
Private (rank)
A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank .In modern military parlance, 'Private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.Notably both Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career...

 in 1988 after completing advanced individual training
United States Army Basic Training
United States Army Basic Training is the program of physical and mental training required in order for an individual to become a soldier in the United States Army, United States Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. It is carried out at several different Army posts around the United States...

, the National Defense Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower...

 twice for service during the time periods of the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and the War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal is a military award of the United States military which was created by Executive Order 13289 of President George W. Bush on March 12, 2003...

 for support service during the War on Terrorism.
National Defense Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower...

 (with one service star)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal is a military award of the United States military which was created by Executive Order 13289 of President George W. Bush on March 12, 2003...

Army Service Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
The Army Service Ribbon is a military decoration of the United States Army that was established by the Secretary of the Army on 10 April 1981 as announced in Department of the Army General Order 15, dated 10 October 1990....


Religious and ideological beliefs


According to one of his cousins, Hasan was a practicing Muslim who became more devout after his parents died in 1998 and 2001. His cousin did not recall him ever expressing any radical or anti-American
Anti-Americanism
The term Anti-Americanism, or Anti-American Sentiment, refers to broad opposition or hostility to the people, policies, culture or government of the United States...

 views, and family also described Hasan as a peaceful person, and a good American. One of his cousins said Hasan turned against the wars after hearing stories of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. His aunt said that he did not tell the family he was being deployed to Afghanistan.

In 2001, Hasan attended the Dar al-Hijrah
Dar al-Hijrah
The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is a mosque in Northern Virginia. It is located in Culmore, Lake Barcroft area of unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, directly between the Bailey's Crossroads, and Seven Corners, Virginia, US Post Offices.-Background:...

 mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 in the Falls Church
Falls Church, Virginia
The City of Falls Church is an independent city in Virginia, United States, in the Washington Metropolitan Area. The city population was 12,332 in 2010, up from 10,377 in 2000. Taking its name from The Falls Church, an 18th-century Anglican parish, Falls Church gained township status within...

 area. The mosque was also attended during this period by two September 11 hijackers (Nawaf al-Hazmi
Nawaf al-Hazmi
Nawaf Muhammed Salim al-Hazmi was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks....

 and Hani Hanjour
Hani Hanjour
Hani Saleh Hasan Hanjour was the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, crashing the plane into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks....

) and by Ahmed Omar Abu Ali
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali
Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is an American who was convicted of providing material support to the al Qaeda terrorist network and conspiracy to assassinate President George W. Bush.-Background:...

 (who was later convicted of providing material support
Providing material support for terrorism
Providing material support for terrorism is a provision of the USA PATRIOT Act which prohibits material support to groups designated as terrorists. The four types of support described are “training,” “expert advice or assistance,” “service,” and “personnel.” In June 2010 the United States Supreme...

 to al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 and conspiracy to assassinate President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

). A law enforcement official said that the FBI would probably look into whether Hasan associated with the hijackers.

Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

 was the mosque's imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

 at the time. Hasan reportedly has deep respect for al-Awlaki's teachings. Hasan sent Awlaki as many as 20 e-mail messages from December 2008 on, but a counter-terrorism specialist who reviewed the emails at the time was of the view that the e-mails were innocuous. Soon after the attack, on his website Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

 praised Hasan for the shooting, and encouraged other Muslims serving in the military to "follow in the footsteps of men like Nidal."

Faizul Khan, the former imam of a Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Silver Spring is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It had a population of 71,452 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth most populous place in Maryland, after Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown.The urbanized, oldest, and...

, mosque where Hasan prayed several times a week said he was "a reserved guy with a nice personality. We discussed religious matters. He was a fairly devout Muslim." Hasan often expressed his wish to get married, and Khan said "I got the impression that he was a committed soldier."

During his psychiatry fellowship at USUHS, Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 Lt. Col. Dr. Val Finnell, a graduate school classmate in the MPH program, said that while other students' projects focused on topics such as water contamination, Hasan's project dealt with "whether the war on terror
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

 is a war against Islam." According to retired Colonel Terry Lee, "He said 'maybe Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor'. At first we thought he meant help the armed forces, but apparently that wasn't the case. Other times he would make comments we shouldn't be in the war in the first place."

Hasan's business card describes him as a psychiatrist
Psychiatrist
A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychotherapy...

 specializing in Behavioral Health
Behavioral health
In psychology behavioral health, as a general concept, refers to the reciprocal relationship between human behavior, individually or socially, and the well-being of the body, mind, and spirit, whether the latter are considered individually or as an integrated whole...

 – Mental Health
Mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...

 – Life Skills
Life skills
Life skills are problem solving behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life...

, and contains the acronyms SoA(SWT). According to investigators, the acronym "SoA" is commonly used on jihadist websites as an acronym for "Soldier of Allah" or "Servant of Allah", and SWT is commonly used by Muslims to mean "subhanahu wa ta'ala
Subhanahu wa ta'ala
Subhanahu wa-ta'ala is an Islamic Arabic phrase that can be translated in English as:*glorified and exalted be He*may He be glorified and exalted...

" (Glory to God). The cards neglected to mention his military rank.

A review of Hasan's computer and his multiple e-mail accounts has revealed visits to websites espousing radical Islamist ideas, a senior law enforcement official said.

Prior investigations


Hasan had come to the attention of federal authorities at least six months before the attacks, because of internet postings he appeared to have made discussing suicide bombings and other threats, though authorities did not at the time definitively tie the postings to him. The postings, made in the name "NidalHasan", likened a suicide bomber to a soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his colleagues, and sacrifices his life for a "more noble cause." No official investigation was opened.

ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 reported that officials were aware that Hasan had attempted to contact Al Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, and that Hasan had "more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI" than just Anwar al-Awlaki.

Al-Awlaki e-mails



Hasan was investigated by the FBI after intelligence agencies intercepted at least 18 e-mails between him and al-Awlaki between December 2008 and June 2009. Even before the contents of the e-mails were revealed, terrorism expert Jarret Brachman
Jarret Brachman
Jarret Brachman is a terrorism expert, the author of Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice and a consultant to several government agencies about terrorism.-Education and career:...

 said that Hasan's contacts with al-Awlaki should have raised "huge red flag
Red flag
In politics, a red flag is a symbol of Socialism, or Communism, or sometimes left-wing politics in general. It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its...

s". According to Brachman, al-Awlaki is a major influence on radical English-speaking jihadis internationally.

In one of the e-mails, Hasan wrote al-Awlaki: "I can't wait to join you" in the afterlife. Hasan also asked al-Awlaki when jihad is appropriate, and whether it is permissible if innocents are killed in a suicide attack. In the months before the shooting, Hasan increased his contacts with al-Awlaki to discuss how to transfer funds abroad without coming to the attention of law authorities.

A DC-based Joint Terrorism Task Force operating under the FBI was notified of the e-mails, and the information was reviewed by one of its Defense Criminal Investigative Service personnel. Army employees were informed of the e-mails, but did not perceive any terrorist threat in Hasan's questions. Instead, they viewed them as general questions about spiritual guidance with regard to conflicts between Islam and military service, and judged them to be consistent with legitimate mental health research about Muslims in the armed services. The assessment was that there was not sufficient information for a larger investigation. Despite two Defense Department investigators on two joint task forces reviewing Hasan's e-mails, Defense Department higher-ups said they were not notified of the investigations before the shootings. A senior government official said to ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 that Hasan also had contact with other people being tracked by the FBI, who have not been publicly identified.

In October 2008, Charles Allen
Charles E. Allen
Charles E. Allen is an American public servant, notable for his roles at the United States Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis and, before that, the Central Intelligence Agency.-Department of Homeland Security:...

, US Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis, had warned that al-Awlaki "targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen." After the Fort Hood shootings took place and news of the e-mails became public, Allen, no longer in government, said:
"I find it difficult to understand why an Army major would be in repeated contact with an Islamic extremist like Anwar al-Awlaki, who preaches a hateful ideology directed at inciting violence against the United States and the West... It is hard to see how repeated contact would in any legitimate way further his research as a psychiatrist."
And former CIA officer Bruce Riedel
Bruce Riedel
Bruce Riedel is a Senior Fellow in foreign policy at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution, a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, a former CIA Analyst, a counter-terrorism expert, and an author. He retired in 2006 after 29 years with the Central...

 opined: "E-mailing a known al-Qaeda sympathizer should have set off alarm bells. Even if he was exchanging recipes, the bureau should have put out an alert."

Al-Awlaki had set up a website, with a blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

 on which he shared his views. On December 11, 2008, he condemned any Muslim who seeks a religious decree "that would allow him to serve in the armies of the disbelievers and fight against his brothers." The NEFA Foundation noted that on December 23, 2008, six days after he said Hasan first e-mailed him, al-Awlaki wrote on his blog: "The bullets of the fighters of Afghanistan and Iraq are a reflection of the feelings of the Muslims towards America".

In "44 Ways to Support Jihad", another sermon posted on his blog in February 2009, al-Awlaki encouraged others to "fight jihad", and explained how to give money to the mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 or their families after they've died. Al-Awlaki's sermon also encouraged others to conduct weapons training, and raise children "on the love of Jihad." Also that month, he wrote: "I pray that Allah destroys America and all its allies." He wrote as well: "We will implement the rule of Allah on Earth by the tip of the sword, whether the masses like it or not." On July 14, he criticized armies of Muslim countries that assist the U.S. military, saying, "the blame should be placed on the soldier who is willing to follow orders ... who sells his religion for a few dollars." In a sermon on his blog on July 15, 2009, entitled "Fighting Against Government Armies in the Muslim World", al-Awlaki wrote, "Blessed are those who fight against [American soldiers], and blessed are those shuhada [martyrs] who are killed by them."

A fellow Muslim officer at Fort Hood said Hasan's eyes "lit up" when gushing about al-Awlaki's teachings. Some investigators believe that Hasan's contacts with al-Awlaki are what pushed him toward violence.

Fort Hood shooting


In the Fort Hood shooting
Fort Hood shooting
The Fort Hood shooting was a mass shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. In the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others...

, on November 5, 2009, a gunman reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar
Takbir
The Takbīr or Tekbir is the Arabic term for the phrase ' . It is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". It is a common Islamic Arabic expression...

!" ("God is greatest") and opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Center of Fort Hood, located just outside Killeen, Texas
Killeen, Texas
Killeen is a city in Bell County, Texas, The United States. The population was 86,911 at the 2000 census. As of 2009, Killeen had 119,510 people. In 2010 Killeen's population shot to 127,921...

, killing 13 people and wounding 29 others in the worst shooting ever to take place on an American military base.

Sergeant Kimberly D. Munley encountered the gunman exiting the building in pursuit of a wounded soldier. Munley and the gunman exchanged shots; Munley was hit two times: once in her thigh and once in her knee, knocking her to the ground. In the meantime, civilian police officer Sergeant Mark Todd arrived and fired at the gunman. The gunman was hit and felled by shots from Todd. Todd approached the gunman and kicked a pistol out of his hand. Hasan was placed in handcuffs as he fell unconscious. The incident lasted about 10 minutes.

He was to be deployed to Afghanistan, contrary to earlier reports that he was to go to Iraq, on November 28. Prior to the incident, Hasan told a local store owner that he was stressed about his imminent deployment to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 since he might then have to fight or kill fellow Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s. According to Jeff Sadoski, spokesperson of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kathryn Ann Bailey Hutchison, known as Kay Bailey Hutchison , is the senior United States Senator from Texas.She is a member of the Republican Party. In 2001, she was named one of the thirty most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. The first woman to represent Texas in the U.S....

, "Hasan was upset about his deployment".

Hasan gave away furniture from his home on the morning of the shooting, saying he was going to be deployed on Friday. He also handed out copies of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. Kamran Pasha
Kamran Pasha
Kamran Pasha is a Hollywood screenwriter, director and novelist. He recently served as a writer and producer on the NBC series Kings, after working as a producer on NBC's Bionic Woman. Previously, he served as a co-producer and writer for Sleeper Cell, Showtime Network's terrorism drama...

 wrote about a Muslim officer at Fort Hood who said he prayed with Hasan on the day of the Fort Hood shooting
Fort Hood shooting
The Fort Hood shooting was a mass shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. In the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others...

, and that Hasan "appeared relaxed and not in any way troubled or nervous". This officer believed that the shootings may have been motivated by religious radicalism.

Medical condition


Hasan was initially hospitalized in the intensive care unit
Intensive Care Unit
thumb|220px|ICU roomAn intensive-care unit , critical-care unit , intensive-therapy unit/intensive-treatment unit is a specialized department in a hospital that provides intensive-care medicine...

 at Brooke Army Medical Center
Brooke Army Medical Center
Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio is part of the United States Army Medical Command. It is a University of Texas Health Science Center and USUHS teaching hospital and contains the Army Burn Center....

 at Fort Sam Houston
Fort Sam Houston
Fort Sam Houston is a U.S. Army post in San Antonio, Texas.Known colloquially as "Fort Sam," it is named for the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston....

 in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States of America and the second-largest city within the state of Texas, with a population of 1.33 million. Located in the American Southwest and the south–central part of Texas, the city serves as the seat of Bexar County. In 2011,...

, under heavy guard, with his condition described as "stable
Medical state
Medical states or medical conditions are used to describe a patient's condition in a hospital. These terms are most commonly used by the news media and are rarely used by doctors, who in their daily business prefer to deal with medical problems in greater detail.Either or both of two aspects of...

". News reports on November 7, 2009, indicated that he was in a coma
Coma
In medicine, a coma is a state of unconsciousness, lasting more than 6 hours in which a person cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light or sound, lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle and does not initiate voluntary actions. A person in a state of coma is described as...

. On November 9, Brooke Army Medical Center spokesman Dewey Mitchell announced that Hasan had regained consciousness, and been able to talk since he was taken off a ventilator on November 7. On November 13, Hasan's attorney, John Galligan, announced that Hasan was paralyzed from the waist down from the bullet wounds to his spine, and will likely never walk again. In mid-December, Galligan indicated that Hasan was moved from intensive care to a private hospital room, yet still remained under guard while recovering. Galligan further stated that doctors said Hasan would need at least two months in the hospital to learn "to care for himself."

Legal proceedings


On November 7, 2009, while Hasan was communicative, he refused to talk to investigators. On November 12 and December 2, respectively, Hasan was officially charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder
Premeditated murder
Premeditated murder is the crime of wrongfully causing the death of another human being after rationally considering the timing or method of doing so, in order to either increase the likelihood of success, or to evade detection or apprehension.State laws in the United States vary as to definitions...

 and 32 counts of attempted murder
Attempted murder
Attempted murder is a crime in England and Wales and Northern Ireland.-Today:In English criminal law, attempted murder is the crime of more than merely preparing to commit unlawful killing and at the same time having a specific intention to cause the death of human being under the Queen's Peace...

 under the Uniform Code of Military Justice
Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice , is the foundation of military law in the United States. It is was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . ....

, thus making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Although authorities did not specify at that time if they would seek the death penalty in the case, a senior military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Colonel
Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, colonel is a senior field grade military officer rank just above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general...

 Michael Mulligan would serve as the Army's lead prosecutor. Mulligan served as the lead prosecutor on the Hasan Akbar case
Hasan Akbar case
The Hasan Akbar case refers to an event in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when Hasan Karim Akbar was convicted of the double-murder of two officers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait.The victims were Army...

, in which a soldier was sentenced to death for the double-murder of two officers.

John P. Galligan, a retired Army JAG colonel, initially represented Hasan. On November 21, in a hearing held in Hasan's hospital room, a military magistrate
Magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

 ruled that there was probable cause
Probable cause
In United States criminal law, probable cause is the standard by which an officer or agent of the law has the grounds to make an arrest, to conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant for arrest, etc. when criminal charges are being considered. It is also used to refer to the...

 that Hasan committed the shooting spree at Fort Hood, and ordered him to pretrial confinement until his court martial. Hasan remained in intensive care in accordance with the magistrate's order. On November 23, Galligan said that Hasan would likely plead not guilty to the charges against him and may use an insanity defense at his court martial. Army officials initially stated that doctors would evaluate Hasan by mid-January 2010 to determine his competency to stand trial as well as his mental state at the time of the shooting, but delayed the exam on request from Galligan until after the Article 32 hearing
Article 32 hearing
An Article 32 hearing is a proceeding under the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice, similar to that of a preliminary hearing in civilian law. Its name is derived from UCMJ section VII Article An Article 32 hearing is a proceeding under the United States Uniform Code of Military...

. The Army also imposed restrictions on Hasan that he speak only in English on the phone or with visitors unless an interpreter is present. Hasan was moved from Brooke Army Medical Center to the Bell County
Bell County, Texas
Bell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. Bell County was founded in 1850. It is part of the Killeen–Temple–Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2000, the county's population was 237,974; in 2010 the U.S. Census Bureau reported that its population had reached...

 Jail in Belton, Texas
Belton, Texas
Belton is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. The population was 14,623 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Bell County.Belton is part of the Killeen – Temple – Fort Hood metropolitan area.-Geography:...

 on April 9, 2010. Fort Hood negotiated a renewable $207,000 contract with Bell County in March to house Hasan for six months.

Galligan announced that the Army officers prosecuting the case would seek the death penalty, stating, "It is the first 'formal notice' but, of course, it has been a virtual given from the start. In short, the Army has been pursuing death from the git-go." The prosecutors filed a memo on April 28, 2010 stating that the "aggravating factor" necessary for pursuit of the death penalty will be satisfied if Hasan is found guilty of more than one murder. The actual decision to seek the death penalty followed the Article 32 hearing On September 15, 2010 Hasan's attorney stated he intended to seek a closed court hearing during those proceedings.

On October 12, 2010, Hasan was due to appear for his first broad military hearing
Hearing (law)
In law, a hearing is a proceeding before a court or other decision-making body or officer, such as a government agency.A hearing is generally distinguished from a trial in that it is usually shorter and often less formal...

 into the attack. The hearing, formally called an Article 32 proceeding
Procedural law
Procedural law or adjective law comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil lawsuit, criminal or administrative proceedings. The rules are designed to ensure a fair and consistent application of due process or fundamental justice to all cases that come before...

, akin to a grand jury hearing but open to the public, is expected to span four to six weeks. He could face the death sentence
Death Sentence
Death Sentence is a short story by the American science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the November 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and reprinted in the 1972 collection The Early Asimov.-Plot summary:...

. However, the hearing ground to an abrupt halt, when Hasan's lawyers were granted a 24-hour continuance
Continuance
In American procedural law, a continuance is the postponement of a hearing, trial, or other scheduled court proceeding at the request of either or both parties in the dispute, or by the judge sua sponte. In response to delays in bringing cases to trial, some states have adopted "fast-track" rules...

. The hearing, designed to help the top Army commander at Ft. Hood determine whether there is enough evidence to court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

 Hasan, was scheduled to begin calling witnesses but was delayed by scheduling and procedural disputes. The hearing proceeded on October 14 with witness testimonies from soldiers who survived the shootings. On November 15, the military hearing would end when Galligan declined to offer a defense case on the grounds that the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 and Defense Department
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 refused to hand over documents he requested pertaining to an intelligence review of the shootings. Neither the defense nor prosecution offered to deliver a closing argument
Closing argument
A closing argument, summation, or summing up is the concluding statement of each party's counsel reiterating the important arguments for the trier of fact, often the jury, in a court case. A closing argument occurs after the presentation of evidence...

. On November 18, Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 James L. Pohl
James L. Pohl
Colonel James L. Pohl is an American lawyer and an officer in the United States Army.He is notable for having been appointed the President of a Guantanamo military commission.He is Presiding over the Commission of Ahmed Darbi and Abd el-Rahim al-Nashiri....

, who served as the investigating officer for the Article 32 hearing, recommended that Hasan be court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

ed and face the death penalty. His recommendation was forwarded to another U.S. Army Colonel at Ft. Hood, who, after filing his own report, presented his recommendation to the post commander. The post commander made the final decision on whether Hasan faces a trial and the death penalty. On July 6, 2011, the Fort Hood post commander referred the case to a general court-martial for trial. The court-martial is authorized to consider death as an authorized punishment. On July 27, 2011, Fort Hood Chief Circuit Judge Colonel Gregory Gross set a March 5, 2012 trial date for Hasan to be court martialed for the Fort Hood shooting rampage with a recommendation for the death penalty. Hasan declined to enter any plea and Judge Gross granted a request by Hasan's attorneys to defer the plea to an unspecified date. Hasan notified Gross that he had released John Galligan, the civilian attorney who has been his lead attorney in previous court appearances. Hasan will instead be represented by three military lawyers at no cost to him.

Hasan continues to receive paychecks and medical expenses are paid by the military.

Commendations from Islamists


While the west remains divided on the question of Hasan's motives, many individuals and groups supported the operation in Islamist terms. After the Fort Hood shooting
Fort Hood shooting
The Fort Hood shooting was a mass shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. In the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others...

, on his now temporarily inoperable website (because the web hosting company took it down), al-Awlaki praised Hasan's actions:
Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people.... Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The U.S. is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam....

Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.

The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community.... The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal's operation.

The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right—rather the duty—to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

 and have fallen into hypocrisy....

May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance, and steadfastness, and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen.


Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Hider Shaea interviewed al-Awlaki in November 2009. Al-Awlaki said he "neither ordered nor pressured ... Hasan to harm Americans". Al-Awlaki said Hasan first e-mailed him December 17, 2008, introducing himself by writing: "Do you remember me? I used to pray with you at the Virginia mosque." Hasan said he had become a devout Muslim around the time al-Awlaki was preaching at Dar al-Hijrah
Dar al-Hijrah
The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is a mosque in Northern Virginia. It is located in Culmore, Lake Barcroft area of unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, directly between the Bailey's Crossroads, and Seven Corners, Virginia, US Post Offices.-Background:...

, in 2001 and 2002, and al-Awlaki said 'Maybe Nidal was affected by one of my lectures.'" He added: "It was clear from his e-mails that Nidal trusted me. Nidal told me: 'I speak with you about issues that I never speak with anyone else.'" Al-Awlaki said Hasan arrived at his own conclusions regarding the acceptability of violence in Islam, and said he was not the one to initiate this. Shaea summarized their relationship by saying, "Nidal was providing evidence to Anwar, not vice versa."

Asked whether Hasan mentioned Fort Hood as a target in his e-mails, Shaea declined to comment. However, al-Awlaki said the shooting was acceptable in Islam because it was a form of jihad, as the West began the hostilities with the Muslims. Referring to the post on his blog praising the shootings after they occurred, al-Awlaki said he "blessed the act because it was against a military target. And the soldiers who were killed were not normal soldiers, but those who were trained and prepared to go to Iraq and Afghanistan".

In March 2010, Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Yahiye Gadahn
Adam Yahiye Gadahn
Adam Yahiye Gadahn is an American who is a senior operative, cultural interpreter, spokesman and media advisor for the Sunni islamist group Al-Qaeda. Since 2004, he appeared in a number of videos produced by Al-Qaeda as "Azzam the American"...

 singled out Hasan for praise that despite not being a member of Al Qaeda, the "Mujahid brother ... has shown us what one righteous Muslim with an assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

 can do for his religion and brothers in faith ... is a pioneer, a trailblazer and a role-model ... and yearns to discharge his duty to Allah and play a part in the defense of Islam and Muslims against the savage, heartless and bloody Zionist Crusader assault on our religion, sacred places and homelands."

Hours before the attack, CNN posted an interview and video of Revolution Muslim
Revolution Muslim
Revolution Muslim is a radical Islamist organization and hate group based in New York City that advocates the establishment of a traditionalist Islamic state, the removal of the current rulers in heavily Muslim populated nations, the destruction of Israel, and an end to what they consider "Western...

 in which Younes Abdullah Mohammed preached that U.S. troops as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States were "legitimate targets" and that Osama bin Laden was their model. The evening after the attack, Revolution Muslim posted that Hasan, "An officer and a gentleman was injured while partaking in a preemptive attack., Get Well Soon Major Nidal, We Love You." American soldiers were described as "slain terrorists in the eternal hellfire", CNN aired the video the evening after the shootings, although at the time, no connection was made between the statements and the shooting.

A statement issued by the Ansar Al-Mujahideen Network on November 24, 2009 cited Hasan as a role model, congratulating Hasan for his "brave and heroic deed" for standing up to the "modern Zionist-Christian Crusades" against the Muslim community.

Retrospective analyses


A military activist, Selena Coppa
Selena Coppa
Selena Danielle Coppa was a military intelligence Sergeant in the United States Army. She is primarily notable for her organizing and activism against the US Occupation of Iraq while serving as an active duty military member, including serving on the Executive Board of Iraq Veterans Against the War...

, said: "This man was a psychiatrist and was working with other psychiatrists every day and they failed to notice how deeply disturbed someone right in their midst was."

Hasan's perceived beliefs were a cause for concern among some of his peers. According to an unnamed source, Hasan was disciplined for "proselytizing
Proselytism
Proselytizing is the act of attempting to convert people to another opinion and, particularly, another religion. The word proselytize is derived ultimately from the Greek language prefix προσ- and the verb ἔρχομαι in the form of προσήλυτος...

 about his Muslim faith with patients and colleagues" while at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a health science university run by the U.S. federal government. The primary mission of the school is to prepare graduates for service to the U.S. at home and abroad in the medical corps....

 (USUHS); The Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

also reported an incident in which a lecture, expected to be of a medical nature, became a diatribe against "infidels." Air Force doctor Val Finnell, a former medical school classmate who had complained to superiors about Hasan's "anti-American rants", said: "The system is not doing what it's supposed to do. He at least should have been confronted about these beliefs, told to cease and desist, and to shape up or ship out."

Even before the contents of the emails were revealed, author Jarret Brachman said that Nidal Malik Hasan's contacts with al-Awlaki should have raised "huge red flag
Red flag
In politics, a red flag is a symbol of Socialism, or Communism, or sometimes left-wing politics in general. It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its...

s". According to Brachman, al-Awlaki is a major influence on radical English-speaking jihadis internationally.

The Dallas Morning News reported on November 17 that ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

, citing anonymous sources, reported that investigators suspect that the shootings were triggered by the refusal of Hasan's superiors to process his requests that sought to have some of his patients prosecuted for war crimes based on statements they made during psychiatric sessions with him. Dallas attorney Patrick McLain, a former Marine, opined that Hasan may have been legally justified in reporting what patients disclosed, but that it was impossible to be sure without knowing exactly what was said, while fellow psychiatrists complained to superiors that Hasan's actions violated physician–patient privilege. Shortly after the shooting, General George Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army, indicated concern that the "real tragedy" would be harming the cause of diversity, saying, "As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well," Several months later, in a February 2010 interview, Casey said, "Our diversity not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse."

FBI Director Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller
Robert Swan Mueller III is the 6th and current Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation .-Early life:...

 has appointed William Webster, a former director of the FBI, to conduct an independent review of the bureau's handling of possible warning signs from Hasan. This review is expected to be long-term and in-depth, with Webster selected for the job due to being, as Mueller stated, "uniquely qualified" for such a review.

Reaction to statements and overseas contacts


On the November 9, 2009 Fox News Sunday
Fox News Sunday
Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace is a public affairs program on the Fox network, hosted by Chris Wallace and airing on Sunday mornings. The show began on April 28, 1996, which predated the launch of Fox News Channel, and usually talks about items similar to Sunday morning talk shows...

show, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman called for a probe by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which he chairs. Lieberman said, "if the reports that we're receiving of various statements he made, acts he took, are valid, he had turned to Islamist extremism ... if that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act ... I think it's very important to let the Army and the FBI go forward with this investigation before we reach any conclusions."

The November 23 cover of both the European and U.S. editions of Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine had a picture of Hasan with the title "Terrorist?" over his eyes. Terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 scholar and Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 professor Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman is the Director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and a specialist in the study of terrorism and counter-insurgency...

 told the magazine that "I used to argue it was only terrorism if it were part of some identifiable, organized conspiracy... the nature of terrorism is changing, and Major Hasan may be an example of that". The article also said "Hasan's motives were mixed enough that everyone with an agenda could find markers in the trail he left", and acknowledged as well that "Hasan matched the classic model of the lone, strange, crazy killer: the quiet and gentle man who formed few close human attachments." The Christian Science Monitor also raised the question of terrorism in its November 9, 2009 edition.

On November 14, The New York Times also asked: "Was Major Hasan a terrorist, driven by religious extremism to attack fellow soldiers he had come to see as the enemy? Was he a troubled loner, a misfit who cracked when ordered sent to a war zone whose gruesome casualties he had spent the last six years caring for? Or was he both?" The article goes on to say that "Major Hasan may be the latest example of an increasingly common type of terrorist, one who has been self-radicalized with the help of the Internet and who wreaks havoc without support from overseas networks and without having to cross a border to reach his target."

A Rasmussen poll
Rasmussen Reports
Rasmussen Reports is an American media company that publishes and distributes information based on public opinion polling. Founded by pollster Scott Rasmussen in 2003, the company updates daily indexes including the President's job approval rating, and provides public opinion data, analysis, and...

 has found that 60 percent of likely American voters believe the shootings should be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act. An analyst of terror investigations, Carl Tobias, said that the attack did not fit the profile of terrorism: "Terrorist attacks are undertaken by people who typically ... have some agenda they want to forward politically, and from what I see in the news, this is just a person acting individually because he doesn't want to deploy overseas".

See also


  • Fort Hood shooting
    Fort Hood shooting
    The Fort Hood shooting was a mass shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, the most populous U.S. military installation in the world, located just outside Killeen, Texas. In the course of the shooting, a single gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others...

  • Jihobbyist
    Jihobbyist
    A “Jihobbyist” is a person who is not an active member of a violent jihadist organization such as Al-Qaeda or the Somali Al Shabaab, but who has a fascination with and enthusiasm for jihad and radical Islam....

  • Naser Jason Abdo
    Naser Jason Abdo
    Naser Jason Abdo is a Muslim US Army Private First Class who is currently being held without bond for possession of an unregistered firearm and allegedly planning to attack a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood.-Early life:Abdo grew up in Garland, Texas and attended Richardson Terrace...



Attacks on military installations
  • Hasan Akbar case
    Hasan Akbar case
    The Hasan Akbar case refers to an event in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when Hasan Karim Akbar was convicted of the double-murder of two officers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait.The victims were Army...

    , convert to Islam, convicted of 2003 murder of two officers at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait. Akbar was concerned about possible harm to Muslims.
  • 2009 Little Rock recruiting office shooting
    2009 Little Rock recruiting office shooting
    The 2009 Little Rock recruiting office shooting took place on June 1, 2009, when Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, aka Carlos Leon Bledsoe, opened fire with a rifle in a drive-by shooting on soldiers in front of a United States military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas, in a...

      Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad returned from Yemen, opened fire in a drive-by shooting on a United States military recruiting office in a self-admitted violent jihad attack, killing one soldier, wounding another.


Other attacks and plots
  • Michael Finton
    Michael Finton
    Michael C. Finton, also known as Talib Islam , a convert to Islam and a part-time cook at a fish and chicken restaurant, attempted to bomb the Paul Findley Federal Building and the adjacent offices of Congressman Aaron Schock in downtown Springfield, Illinois, on September 24, 2009...

    , American convert to Islam, attempted 2009 bombing of U.S. target with FBI agent he thought was al-Qaeda member
  • Sharif Mobley
    Sharif Mobley
    Sharif Mobley is a suspected al-Qaeda and al-Shabab member who was arrested in Yemen in March 2010 by counter-terrorism officers following a shooting in which he was allegedly the perpetrator. Mobley had moved to Yemen two years prior...

    , American suspected al-Qaeda member, arrested in Yemen in 2010 and suspected of killing guard in escape attempt
  • Aafia Siddiqui
    Aafia Siddiqui
    Aafia Siddiqui is an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist who was convicted of assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan. The charges carried a maximum sentence of life in prison; in September 2010, she was sentenced by a United States district court to 86...

    , female alleged al-Qaeda member, former U.S. resident, convicted in 2010 of attempting to kill U.S. personnel
  • Bryant Neal Vinas
    Bryant Neal Vinas
    Bryant Neal Vinas is a Hispanic Muslim American convicted of participating in and supporting Al-Qaeda plots in Afghanistan and the U.S....

    , American convert to Islam, convicted in 2009 of participating in/supporting al-Qaeda plots in Afghanistan and the U.S.
  • Najibullah Zazi
    Najibullah Zazi
    Najibullah Zazi is an Afghan-American who was arrested in September 2009 as part of the 2009 U.S. Al Qaeda group accused of planning suicide bombings on the New York City subway system, and has pled guilty as have two other defendants. U.S...

    , al-Qaeda member, U.S. resident, pleaded guilty in 2010 of planning suicide bombings on New York City subway system
  • Operation Arabian Knight
    Operation Arabian Knight
    On June 5, 2010, in a covert anti-terrorism operation named "Operation Arabian Knight", Mohamed Mahmood Alessa and Carlos "Omar" Eduardo Almonte, two Muslim men from New Jersey, were arrested at Kennedy International Airport in New York City...

    , 2010 arrest of two Muslim men from New Jersey on terrorism charges

External links