Nidal Malik Hasan

© Image Copyright : Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Author of Photo: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Overview

  • Muslim convert
  • U.S. Army psychiatrist
  • Opposed America’s military ventures in Afhganistan and Iraq, objecting to U.S. forces killing Muslims on foreign soil
  • On November 5, 2009 Hasan went on a shooting rampage inside the U.S. Army post at Fort Hood, Texas — killing 13 people and wounding at least 31 others. While he was shooting, he shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is Great!”).

Born in Arlington County, Virginia, on September 8, 1970, Nidal Malik Hasan attended Barstow Community College (in California) and Virginia Western Community College in the city of Roanoke. He then transferred to Virginia Tech University, where, according to military records, he served in the ROTC as an undergraduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in 1997. (School officials, however, reported that Hasan had graduated in 1995, and that there were no records of his having served in ROTC.)

After leaving Virginia Tech, Hasan went on to obtain a doctorate in psychiatry from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 2001. Early in his postgraduate work, he was put on probation and was disciplined for proselytizing about his Muslim faith with patients and colleagues.

Hasan, who served eight years as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army, worked as a staff psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC from 2003-09. During that period, he was known to be a very devout member of the Muslim Community Center (MCC) in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he made daily visits. On a form that he filled out at the MCC, the Virginia-born Hasan identified his nationality not as “American” but as “Palestinian.” A mosque official was puzzled by that, saying: “I don’t know why he listed Palestinian. He was not born in Palestine.”

In April 2008, Hasan earned the rank of Major in the U.S. Army. In early 2009 he was transferred to Fort Hood, a U.S. Army post located outside of Killeen, Texas.

Hasan opposed America’s military ventures in Afhganistan and Iraq, objecting to U.S. forces killing Muslims on foreign soil. Sometime in 2009, he learned that he himself would be deployed either to Afghanistan or Iraq at the end of the year, and he told colleagues repeatedly that he did not want to go. According to one former colleague, Retired Army Col. Terry Lee, Hasan was hopeful that President Barack Obama would pull U.S. troops out of the Middle East entirely. Lee further reported that Hasan had frequently argued with other military personnel who supported the wars.

On May 20, 2009, a man giving his name as “NidalHasan” posted this defense of suicide bombing on the Internet (all spelling and grammar appears as it did in the original):

“There was a grenade thrown amongs 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.”

On November 5, 2009, Hasan, armed with two handguns, went on a shooting rampage inside Fort Hood, killing 13 people and wounding at least 31 others. According to eyewitnesses, he shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is Great!”) while he was shooting.

In the aftermath of the incident — which ended when Hasan himself was shot by a police officer and rendered permanently paralyzed below the waist — Col. Terry Lee, a former colleague of Hasan, recalled that the gunman had previously made statements to the effect of: “Muslims have the right to rise up against the U.S. military” and “Muslims have a right to stand up against the aggressors.” Lee also remembered an occasion when Hasan had spoken favorably about people who “strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square.”

Subsequent investigations into Hasan’s past turned up the following facts:

  • Hasan was “a devout Muslim” who embraced the mandates of Islamic Law, or Shariah, which instructs the faithful to wage jihad, or holy war, against unbelievers.
  • While stationed in Washington, Hasan had attended a Fairfax County, Virginia mosque (Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center) whose pro-jihad Imam — Anwar al-Awlaki — ministered to two of the 9/11 hijackers.
  • Hasan repeatedly tried to convince his psychiatric patients to convert to Islam, causing many of them to complain about his proselytizing.
  • In late 2008, while working towards a graduate degree at the military’s health sciences university, Hasan gave a PowerPoint presentation titled “Why the War on Terror is a War on Islam.”
  • According to the London Telegraph, Hasan “told classmates [in graduate school] that Islamic law trumped the U.S. Constitution.”
  • Immediately before the deadly shootings of November 2009, Hasan gave away his possessions, telling one recipient: “I am going away.” This act of charity was consistent with Shariah’s instructions to aspiring shaheeds (martyrs).
  • The night before the shootings, Hasan told a friend that he might leave the military because, “In the Koran, you’re not supposed to have alliances with Jews or Christian or others, and if you are killed in the military fighting against Muslims, you will go to hell.”
  • Hasan once gave a medical lecture that called for Muslims to behead infidels and to pour burning oil down the throats of the latter.
  • Hasan’s business cards featured the jihadist abbreviation “SoA,” for “Soldier of Allah.”
  • Hasan had contacted several jihadist websites and had been exchanging e-mails with the aforementioned Anwar al-Awlaki — an affiliate of al-Qaeda — who had left Virginia and relocated in Yemen.

After his arrest, Hasan continued to collect military pay. By the end of July 2013, he had received nearly $300,000 in pay since his arrest.

In early August 2013, on the eve of his military trial, Hasan released seven pages of handwritten and typed documents to Fox News in which he provided insight into his worldview. Most of the documents bore the acronym “SoA,” meaning “Soldier of Allah.”

  • In one document — dated October 18, 2012 — Hasan wrote: “I, Nidal Malik Hasan, am compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend (any – sic) man made constitution (like the constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam … I therefore formally renounce my oath of office … this includes my oath of U.S. citizenship.”
  • In another document, Hasan stated that American democracy and Sharia law are incompatible: “There is an inherent and irreconcilable conflict. … in an American Democracy ‘we the people’ govern according to what ‘we the people’ think is right or wrong; even if it specifically goes against what All-Mighty God commands.”

Recalling Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been killed by a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in September 2011, Hasan wrote in August 2013: “He [al-Awlaki] was my teacher, mentor and friend. I hold him in high esteem for trying to educate Muslims about their duties to our creator. May All-Mighty Allah accept his martyrdom.”

Hasan acted as his own defense attorney at his trial, after twice dismissing his legal team. On August 28, 2013, a military jury sentenced Hasan to death. He was then incarcerated at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to await execution.

In August 2014, the incarcerated Hasan pledged, in writing, his allegiance to the brutal terrorist group ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In October 2014, Hasan — using the acronym “SoA” (“Soldier of Allah”) to describe himself — sent a six-page, handwritten letter to Pope Francis emphasizing the fact that his mass murder at Fort Hood was not an act of “workplace violence” (as the Obama administration was continuing to characterize it), but rather, of “jihad.”


Additional Resources

Jihad at Fort Hood
By Robert Spencer
November 6, 2009

A Jihadist Hiding in Plain Sight
By Mark Steyn
November 15, 2009

Connecting the Dots
By Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn
November 14, 2009

Medicalizing Mass Murder
By Charles Krauthammer
November 13, 2009

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