Friday, November 6, 2009

Nidal Malik Hasan and Hate Crimes: Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan Hate Crimes

New hate crime legislation was passed recently. Will Nidal Malik Hasan's crime be seen as a crime of hate? Can the Army try a soldier who has shot another soldier under the new hate crime law? If they can, will they? Should they? See a video below.

Nidal Malik Hasan

Today President Obama asked us not to "jump to conclusions until we have all the facts," although he was quick to climb to a podium and tag a Cambridge, Massachusetts cop "stupid" after an incident at a black man's home.

In this case, we do have some facts: He is a Major in the U.S. Army, was educated by the U.S. Army, and he treated our severely wounded. While he treated soldiers, NPR reports that Hasan was put on probation:
Hasan was put on probation early in his postgraduate work at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He was disciplined for proselytizing about his Muslim faith with patients and colleagues, according to the source, who worked with him at the time.
 This from the AP:
Federal law enforcement officials say the suspected Fort Hood, Texas, shooter had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.
Authorities are still attempting to verify that Hasan was the poster. A not so funny thing - this was last Spring, and obviously not on anyone's radar.

Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told NBC that witnesses told him Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire on fellow soldiers:
The base commander at Fort Hood says soldiers who witnessed a shooting rampage that left 13 people dead reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" before opening fire at the Texas post.

Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told NBC's "Today" show on Friday that suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, made the comment, which is Arabic for "God is great!" before the rampage Thursday that also left 30 people wounded.
Here is what a few of his neighbors know:
Jose Padilla, the owner of Hasan's apartment complex, said Hasan gave him notice two weeks ago that he was moving out this week.

Earlier this week, Hasan asked Padilla his native language. When Padilla said it was Spanish, Hasan immediately went up to his apartment to get him a Spanish-language Quran. Padilla said Hasan also refused to reclaim his deposit and last month's rent, surrendering $400 that the major said should go to someone who needed it.
...Dr. Val Finnell - when they were classmates in a 2007-08 master's public health program at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

He said that at a class presentation by public health students, at which topics like dry cleaning chemicals and house mold were discussed, Hasan talked about U.S. military actions as a war on Islam. Hasan made clear he was a "vociferous opponent" of U.S. wars in Muslim countries, Finnell said.
 It has been reported that his parents are of Jordanian descent, and Pakistani descent. The article linked above say he is Palestinian:
His relatives in the West Bank said they had heard from family members that Hasan felt mistreated in the Army as a Muslim.
I agree with the President. We don't know everything. I just hope we don't ignore what we do know.

So the question remains: 13 of our military are dead. Many more are severely wounded. Is this a crime of hate? The video below is Nidal Malik Hasan buying breakfast at a local convenience store. The owner of the store knew Hasan and talks to two reporters.

Nidal Malik Hasan - Fort Hood Shooter Having Breakfast (video)

Thanks to Right Truth for photo

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