Thursday, 12 November 2009

Hasan Proclaimed Himself "Soldier of Allah"

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Nadil Malik HasanOn Thursday, Major Nadil Malik Hasan was charged with 13 counts of murder for the killing spree last week at Ft. Hood, Texas. Hasan will be tried by a military tribunal, an indication that investigators believe he acted alone in killing 13 people and wounding 30 others at the army post’s Soldier Medical Readiness Center.

If the military court convicts Hasan of the crimes of which he is accused, he will face the death penalty. Standards and procedures for the trial will be those promulgated in The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The UCMJ provides for the death penalty as a punishment for murder; however, there has been no execution carried out under this code since 1961.

As the legal process moves along, so does the quest for insight into the “hows” and “whys” behind the brutal slayings Major Hasan is accused of committing. A central component of the investigation was the forensic inventory conducted Wednesday and Thursday of Major Nidal Hasan’s tiny one-bedroom apartment in Killeen, Texas. Preliminary results have yielded a baffling conglomeration of clues that, far from sharpening the borders of the possible motives of the accused murderer, have revealed an impression of a man with stronger and more stridently radical beliefs than earlier suspected.

Law enforcement authorities allowed reporters to view some of the items that were discovered upon inspecting Hasan’s apartment. There were various curious discoveries that should have served as warnings of potential dangerous proclivities and propensities. However, as The New American has reported, a team of federal investigators from the FBI and the Pentagon had been monitoring Hasan’s communications and movements since December of 2008, but upon evaluating the data had determined that none of Hasan’s activities merited further scrutiny.

Among the red flag personal effects were business cards that Hasan ordered from an online marketing site. Printed below Hasan’s name on these cards were the letters “SoA (SWT).” According to published accounts, “SoA” is an acronym commonly used by Islamic jihadists and stands for “Soldier of Allah.” SWT is an acronym for Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, or Glory to God.

These cards and the indications he had printed on them leave little room for misinterpretation of Major Hasan’s most sacred allegiance. Despite having sworn to uphold the Constitution and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, Major Hasan enlisted in an army whose openly declared aim is the absolute annihilation of Americans. These business cards, while not of themselves indicative of an intent to brutally murder 13 of his fellow soldiers, are certainly sufficiently alarming to have warranted a deeper and more inclusive probe of Hasan’s behavior.

Investigators also uncovered evidence that Major Hasan, an American born of Palestinian parents, may have been wiring money to Pakistan. Officials are mum as to the specific cause of this suspicion, but Congressman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) spoke to the Dallas Morning News and said that sources “outside of the [intelligence] community” are collecting scattered bits of evidence of disturbing ties between Major Hasan and Islamic extremists based in Pakistan. “They are trying to follow up on it because they recognize that if there are communications — phone or money transfers with somebody in Pakistan — it just raises a whole other level of questions,” explained Hoekstra.

As one would expect, most of the furnishings in Hasan’s apartment were unremarkable and are merely flotsam and jetsam suggestive of the insular life of a single man with few friends.

Curiously, officers found a half-empty bottle of Combivir in Hasan’s house. Combivir is a drug used to treat HIV. Hasan was prescribed the drug in 2001 while stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Some health care providers have informed reporters that workers in the healthcare profession occasionally take Combivir to prevent any accidental exposure to patients with HIV. Major Hasan has worked for many years as a psychiatrist, both at Ft. Hood and prior to that at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

As if the cocktail of curious contents of Hasan’s residence wasn’t sufficiently indicting, his behavior while employed at Walter Reed unequivocally foreshadowed a violent and treasonous streak.

Co-workers and supervisors who worked with Hasan at Walter Reed have told several news agencies that beginning in spring of 2008 during Hasan’s training there, a “series of meetings” were convened to discuss “serious concerns” about Major Hasan’s disturbing topics of conversations held with colleagues and patients, bizarre statements made to supervisors, and how such behavior was affecting his work. Unnamed officers attending the meetings claim that the evidence shows there was a reasonable suspicion that Hasan, if deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, might betray his country and offer aid and intelligence to the enemy — even to the point of killing fellow servicemen as a Muslim sergeant had in 2003.

Despite regarding Major Hasan as a potential traitor to his country and one with perceived capacity for killing countrymen in the name of his religion, commanders at Walter Reed chose not to dismiss Hasan from the program because of how “cumbersome and lengthy” such a process is. Also, because Hasan is a Muslim and the terrorists with whom the United States is at war are Muslim, directors of the program were concerned that any disciplinary action could be interpreted as discriminatory and motivated by religious intolerance and profiling.

The record of Hasan’s demeanor, correspondence, and unshrouded alliances is so vast, varied, and unmistakably hostile to the U.S. Army that it is increasingly incredible that none of these acts ever seemed to justify any intervention on the part of the army or the FBI. Before this tale is told, there are liable to be many missteps, bumblings, and outright cover-ups exposed by the light of truth.

Photo of Nadil Malik Hasan: AP Images