Major Malik Hasan, Background and History, Terrorist Connections?
Nader Hasan is the cousin of the Fort Hood shooter Major Malik Nadal Hasan, and although little is known still about the doctor behind the deaths of 13 people and the wounding of 30 others, more information is starting to come together including the following statement from Nader:
"We are filled with grief for the families of today's victims," the statement says. "Our family loves America. We are proud of our country, and saddened by today's tragedy."
Major Malik Hasan has in the past told his family that he wants to get out of the military. He apparently did tell his family that he was taunted after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
According to video surveillance from a 7-Eleven, Malik Hasan could be seen at about 6:20am Thursday morning buying coffee and hash browns and smiling and looking relaxed. It was only seven hours later that he shot and killed 13 people.
Malik Hasan had received deportation orders to Iraq or Afghanistan recently as well.
Many are speculating today that Major Malik Hasan had terrorist connections, but what is being uncovered so far is that he was a deeply disturbed individual who was so scared of being deployed to Iraq and didn't even tell his family when he received orders to go.
He was set to deploy on November 28th, but his cousin Nader Hasan said that Malik told him he was being harassed by military colleagues and had even hired a military lawyer to resolve the issue.
“I don’t think he’s ever been disenchanted with the military,” Nader Hasan said. “It was the harassment.”
KXXV-TV reported that last week someone had carved 'Allah' in to Malik Hasan's car.
Patricia Villa,a neighbor of Malik Hasan said that just days before the shooting, he cleaned out his apartment and even offered her some items for free if she wanted them, including a new Qur’an and he told her he was being deployed on Friday. He did not say where.
Major Malik Nadal Hasan was born and raised in Arlington, Virginia in 1968 or 1969, and was reported to have had a good childhood; he never got in to trouble either. He is considered a U.S citizen of Jordanian origin.
He completed a fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry in 2009 at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress in Bethesda, Md. Previous to that he graduated from Virginia Tech University with a degree in Biochemistry in 1997. When he attended Virginia Tech he was a member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and earned his medial degree in 2001 from the military's Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda.
Only recently in 2007 he completed a residency in psychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and he helped treat wounded soldiers returing from Iraq and Afghanistan. He was currently working at the Darnell Medical Center at Fort Hood with soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
“He would tell us how he would hear things, horrific things,” said cousin Nader Hasan, adding that dealing with soldiers returning from war zones was “affecting him psychologically.”
One of Malik's bosses at Fort Hood praised his work:
“Up to this point I would consider him an asset,” said Col. Kimberly Kesling, deputy commander of clinical services at Darnall Army Medical Center.
Some reports today are stating that Hasan himself was suffering from PTSD and that may have caused him to want to hurt others that he worked with.
He was single with no children. His parents have passed on already and Nader Hasan is one of the only family members he has left.
According to a former imam at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md, Malik Hasan wanted a wife desperately. He wanted someone who was more religious than him, who prayed five times a day and wore the hajib.
As for the terrorist connection, details are sketchy, but according to some reports, army colleagues have said that Malik Hasan did make remarks supporting Muslim insurgents and he also made some internet postings that was brought to the attention of the FBI. There is also speculation that Hasan shouted 'Allahu Akbar' before he started shooting.
"He said maybe the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor," Col. Terry Lee said.
"At first, we thought he was talking about how Muslims should stand up and help the armed forces in Iraq and in Afghanistan, but apparently that wasn't the case."
American Muslim groups have issued a few statements:
"Thousands of Arab Americans and American Muslims serve honorably everyday in all four branches of the U.S. military and in the National Guard," the Arab American Institute said.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee deplored the shooting by what it called a "rogue" gunman, but suggested Muslim American communities take special precautions "due to the potential of a backlash against these communities."
However, much of the information at this time is unsupported and is speculation so no conclusions can be drawn yet.
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