Jose A. Gonzalez
October 1, 2012
Fort Hood Shooting
Brief Description of Attack
On November 5, 2009 at approximately 1:30 p.m., a gunman opens fire inside the base's Soldier Readiness Center at U.S. Army Base, Fort Hood, Texas. Soldier Readiness Center, is where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening (http://search.proquest.com). During the shooting the gunman killed 13 and wounded 31 others. The gunman was shot and wounded by base police during the incident. This was the first time that an attack like this has happened in a military base on U.S. soil. All the soldiers and civilians inside of the Soldier Readiness Center were unarmed at the time of the attack. After the shooting the gunman was identified as Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan a U.S. Army psychiatrist who was also scheduled to deploy overseas. Witnesses stated that Hasan, shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is great") before he began his shooting rampage (http://search.proquest.com). The term “Allahu Akbar" is commonly used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, when they are about to attack against U.S. troops or Coalition Forces overseas. Witnesses further stated that Hasan stopped to reload his weapon and then continued shooting until he was shot by base police. Before the gunman was shot several soldiers inside the Soldier Readiness Center, throw tables and chairs at the gunman in an attempt to stop him. It is believed that Hasan used a FN Herstal Five-seveN tactical pistol that he had bought legally at a gun store in Killeen, Texas. The FN Herstal Five-seveN tactical pistol fires a 5.57 mm round and the magazine for the pistol holds up to 20 rounds. Attack Classifies as a Terrorist Attack
The Fort Hood shooting was considered an act of terrorism because of the fact that Hasan had pervious been in contact with Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born cleric radical leader from Virginia, who lived in Yemen. Awlaki was believed to run a web site that promoted jihad around the world against the U.S. He is also believed to have helped hide two of the 9/11 hijackers (http://abcnews.go.com). Awlaki is also believed to have ties to Al Qaeda and was under investigation by the San Diego FBI Office. In December 2008, during a counter terrorism investigation FBI Agents from the San Diego’s Joint Terrorism Task Force intercepted messages between Hasan and Awlaki. A total of about 20 messages were exchanged between Hasan and Awlaki. In one of the messages Hasan asked the cleric for his thoughts on American Muslim soldiers killing their non-Muslim counterparts (http://www.statesman.com). Hasan further asked if the American Muslim soldiers would because shaheeds (martyrs), if they killed there non-Muslim counterparts. These emails raised many red flags and concerned the San Diego Agents. They forwarded the case to agents in Washington, where Hasan was then stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (http://www.statesman.com). During the investigation the U.S. Army was contacted by the FBI, and they were informed of Hasan emails and contact with Awlaki, a suspected Al Qaeda supporter. The FBI’s investigation determined that Hasan’s contact with Awlaki was in accordance with research that he doing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Some of the emails that Hasan exchanged seemed to be asking for guidance from Awlaki on how to find a Muslim wife. Other emails were about how he disapproved of the war on terror, because Muslims were being killed by non-Muslims. During the investigation Hasan was never questioned. Investigator believed that they did not have enough information to question Hasan and if the contacted Hasan’s Chain of Command, it could ruin his military career. Many of Hasan’s coworkers had expressed concerns about Hasan’s beliefs and further stated to investigators after the shooting that his thought and views towards the war on terror were...