Ft. Hood Murder Charges Filed Against Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan (inset), the U.S. Army psychiatrist being held for killing thirteen (13) people at the Army's Ft. Hood base in Texas, and wounding 43 soldiers and civilians in the attack, was charged with 13 counts of murder
Hasan's charges include 13 specifications of premeditated murder, in violation of Article 118, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
If convicted, the UCMJ provides that "he shall suffer death or imprisonment for life as a court-martial may direct."
Federal law enforcement and U.S. Military authorities are still investigating a host of issues involving what may have been a botched intelligence analysis and corresponding failure to of federal agencies to share information with Defense Department officials on Hasan. The failure is reminiscent of criticism of federal agencies' problems sharing intelligence with one another, an issue highlighted after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
According to The Washington Post, Hassan "came to the attention of two Joint Terrorism Task Forces in December, as he corresponded by e-mail as many as 20 times with radical imam Anwar al-Aulaqi" (a/k/a Anwar al-Awlaki) a former Virginia area imam known for espousing extreme Islamist views like condoning violence Jihad against the West, and urging Muslims to take up arms.
The congressional 9/11 Commission Report noted that al-Awlaki held "closed door meetings" with two 9/11 hijackers, Khalid al Midhar and Nawaf al Hazmi, were in contact with al-Awlaki when he was an imam at the Rabat mosque in San Diego, alleging that the there were "reports of "closed-door meetings" amongst the three. Later, when he became the imam at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, VA, the Commission Report noted that al-Awlaki reportedly met with al Hazmi again, and another 9/11 terrorist, Hani Hanjour, months before the Sept. 11th attacks.
al-Awlaki, an American citizen, is reportedly living in Yemen. If the FBI knew that Hasan had repeatedly been in touch with al-Awlaki, and that this should have raised a few eyebrows, why was any further investigation of Hasan's communications with al-Awlaki dropped?
- Uniform Code of Military Justice, FindLaw
- John Galligan, Hasan's Defense Lawyer
- Criminal Investigation Command, U.S. Army
- Fort Hood Shooting Suspect Charged with Murder, Reuters (Nov. 12, 2009)
- Possible Agency Missteps Debated, Washington Post (Nov. 11, 2009)
- Fort Hood Shootings, KIlleen Daily Herald
- Anwar al Awlaki: Pro Al-Qaida Ideologue with Influence in the West, NEFA Foundation (Feb. 5, 2009)
- The Rush to Therapy, by David Brooks, The New York Times Nov. 9, 2009