Saturday, November 7, 2009

US Army Psychiatrist Who Shot 43 at Fort Hood, Killed 13 Was Being Deployed to Afghanistan

At about 1:30PM November 5th, a US Army Major, Nidal Malik Hasan walked through the doors of the Soldier Readiness Centre at Fort Hood Texas, drew two pistols and opened fire. The building where the shooting took place was filled with military personnel waiting for routine pre-deployment medical examinations and dental work. The readiness centre at Fort Hood (One of the largest military installations in the world) is the hub of activity on that base for troops about to be deployed to one of America’s theatres of operations overseas. Preliminary reports indicate that Maj. Hasan was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.

His position in the Military will no doubt raise some questions about the potential effect of radicalization on the upper echelons of command. The forthcoming paranoia that Idea-Driven Fourth Generation Warfare has so thoroughly penetrated the defense department will no doubt result in a high degree of internal awareness as well as scrutiny of the US Military’s Chain of Command and Leadership Structure from external agencies. The FBI is reported to have arrived on base within the hour and is providing its investigative services, as the Army is still unsure whether the act constitutes terrorism. An American born man of Jordanian descent, he has been called ‘a lifelong muslim’ by Faizul Khan, a former Imam at the mosque he attended (often in uniform) His family has been quoted as saying that he received harassment in the workplace for his religious choices. Maj. Hasan had raised the attention of authorities up to six months ago with the publication of personal musings online which suggested that terrorists carrying out suicide bomb attacks were similar to troops that would throw themselves selflessly onto a grenade to save their comrades.

“There was a grenade thrown among a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that ‘IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE’ and Allah (SWT) knows best.
Poster: NidalHasan Source:

Maj. Hasan’s role as a psychiatrist means he had access to troops returning from theatres in Iraq and Afghanistan and provided them with professional post-traumatic stress counseling. Graduating from VA Tech with a degree in biochemistry, he joined the Army and worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center pursuing his career in psychiatry, as an intern, a resident and a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry. He received his medical degree from the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001
"He never went to Iraq. He was dealing with people coming back, trying to help them with their trauma," Nader Hasan (Gunman’s Cousin) said. "He was just normal, loved sports, never got into trouble.” On paperwork obtained by the media, filled out at his mosque, Maj. Hasan indicated that his birthplace was Arlington VA. And that his nationality was ‘Palestinian’.

A US Army Col. (ret.) Terry Lee claimed to have worked with Maj. Hasan and elaborated to the media that it was Hasan’s desire to see American troops withdrawn from warzones in Afghanistan and Iraq. His anti-war perspectives brought him into direct conflict with his co-workers and superiors and records indicate that he had sought legal proceedings on the grounds of a harassment claim to prevent his deployment to Afghanistan.

His decision to walk into an on-base processing centre was not preceded by any clear warning signs. He donated some furniture and a bag of frozen broccoli to his neighbors, one of whom he told he was moving to Oklahoma, the other was told he was deploying to Iraq. Maj. Hasan then went to a convenience store for a breakfast of hash browns and coffee dressed in a traditional robe and cap. Then, he proceeded to the site of the shootings, in his US Army Uniform where he drew a single 5.7mm FN ‘Five Seven’ Pistol and opened fire, pumping about 100 rounds into the crowds in the Soldier Readiness Centre. Investigators have noted he was carrying a second handgun, but that it was never drawn. The weapon he chose is an elegant one, with a highly specialized purpose. Its round penetration physics are such that it is designed to be employed against targets wearing body armour and leaving a much larger than normal exit wound (despite the lightweight nature of the actual projectile).

Whatever the reason for his irrational and catastrophic meltdown that precipitated these heinous actions, the fact that he survived the exchange of gunfire fit to stand trial means significant potential down the road revelations. Military service records indicate he had requested not to be deployed to Iraq but was willing to be deployed to Afghanistan. This incident followed only a day after an Afghan national police officer opened fire on his British colleagues, killing five and then escaping. Whether the incident in Afghanistan provided some sort of ideological inspiration for Maj. Hasan’s action will doubtless come out in any ensuing investigation. For now, the focus of the American Department of Defence is most certainly turned inward, dealing with support for soldiers and their families, respectful treatment of the dead and preventative measures to ensure that radicalization of both the enlisted men and educated officership is much more readily detected.


ABC - Fort Hood Gunman who Killed 12, Wounded 30 Survived Gun Battle
Christian Science Monitor - What did the Army know about Fort Hood's Nidal Malik Hasan?

No comments:

Post a Comment