- 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. He shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is Great!”) while he was shooting.
Born in Virginia in 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, report that Hasan graduated in 1995 and that there are 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 to 2009. 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 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 (a Muslim convert) opposed America’s military ventures in Afhganistan and Iraq, objecting to U.S. forces killing Muslims on foreign soil. Sometime in 2009, Hasan 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 and wounded by a police officer), 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 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 Power Point 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 a radical Islamic cleric in Yemen.
After his arrest, Hasan continued to collect military pay. By the end of July 2013, he had collected 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 worlview. 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 Shariah 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.”
On his relationship with Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric who was killed by a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in September 2011, Hasan wrote: “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.”
On August 28, 2013, a military jury sentenced Hasan to death.
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,” or “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.”
Portions of this profile are adapted from the article, “Jihad at Fort Hood,” written by By Robert Spencer and published by Front Page Magazine on November 6, 2009.