Monday, November 09, 2009

Warning Signs Missed In Fort Hood Shooter's Background

Did the US Army and law enforcement drop the ball when it came to Nidal Hasan's background? ABC News seems to suggest that they did in a report indicating that Hasan was apparently trying to make contacts with al Qaeda.
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.

One senior lawmaker said the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan's efforts.

CIA director Leon Panetta and the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, have been asked by Congress "to preserve" all documents and intelligence files that relate to Hasan, according to the lawmaker.
Moreover, it appears that he attended a mosque where two of the 9/11 hijackers prayed. And, like the 9/11 hijackers, Hasan also apparently went to a strip joint and imbibed prior to carrying out his attack that killed 13 soldiers and wounded 30 others.

The warning signs were there for those who could piece things together along with excuses for his behavior because of apparent taunting and religious epitaphs.
It was still dark on Thursday when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan left his aging apartment complex to attend 6 a.m. prayers at the brick mosque near Fort Hood. Afterward, he said goodbye to his friends there and asked forgiveness from one man for any past offenses.

“I’m going traveling,” he told a fellow worshiper, giving him a hug. “I won’t be here tomorrow.”

Six hours later, Major Hasan walked into a processing center at Fort Hood where soldiers get medical attention before being sent overseas. At first, he sat quietly at an empty table, said two congressmen briefed on the investigation.

Then, witnesses say, he bowed his head for several seconds, as if praying, stood up and drew a high-powered pistol. “Allahu akbar,” he said — “God is great.” And he opened fire. Within minutes he had killed 13 people.

But relatives and acquaintances say tensions that led to the rampage had been building for a long time. Investigators say Major Hasan bought the gun used in the massacre last summer, days after arriving at Fort Hood.

In recent years, he had grown more and more vocal about his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and tortured over reconciling his military duties with his religion. He tried to get out of the Army, relatives said, and apparently believed it to be impossible, though experts say he was probably given inadequate advice.

At times, he complained, too, about harassment, once describing how someone had put a diaper in his car, saying, “That’s your headdress.” In another case cited by relatives, someone had drawn a camel on his car and written under it, “Camel jockey, get out!”
At the same time, the media is speculating on how Hasan obtain the firearms used in the attack. Many are misidentifying the kind of gun used, and ascribing to it the label "cop killer" despite the fact that it has never actually been used to kill law enforcement officers prior to this very attack.

While the investigations continue, what is clear is that Hasan engaged in a premeditated act of violence in murdering his fellow soldiers. He appears to have harbored some deep seated anger and resentment against the US military, and some of his fellow soldiers may have alternately fed that anger or responded to the anger with the hateful statements being related in the Times report. That Hasan may have attempted contact with al Qaeda shows that whatever kind of issues he was having, he sought to join the enemy of the US and violate the very oaths he undertook when entering the service of the US Army - to protect and defend the US Constitution.

As of the 6th, the US Army had not confirmed that Hasan uttered "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire. However, a radical imam who is connected to Hasan has expressed his support for Hasan's actions and condemns those Muslims who denounce Hasan:
The personal Web site for a radical American imam living in Yemen who had contact with two 9/11 hijackers is praising alleged Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan as a hero.

The posting Monday on the Web site for Anwar al Awlaki, who was a spiritual leader at two mosques where three 9/11 hijackers worshipped, said American Muslims who condemned the attacks on the Texas military base last week are hypocrites who have committed treason against their religion.
Awlaki and his supporters are championing Hasan's actions. Links between Awlaki and Hasan are under investigation.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post thinks that the attacks against the US on US soil by various groups are simply anti-war in nature, and not part of a jihad; the headline reads:
Fort Hood attack is 3rd this year by antiwar radicals targeting military on U.S. soil
Sorry, but this attack isn't merely an antiwar radical acting out. Neither was the Fort Dix Six plot or any of the other jihadi plots that were disrupted. They're not anti-war, they're the other side, no matter how much the WaPo reporter tries to spin that this is not all that different than McVeigh and Nichols pursuing their vendetta against the US government.

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