Friday, November 6, 2009

'Nidal Malik Hasan' Was 'Calm' During Massacre!

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The Army psychiatrist suspected of being the lone gunman in a horrific massacre at Fort Hood in Texas took a "very calm and measured approach" to carrying out the mass shooting, the commanding general said Friday. Survivors of the rampage that killed 13 and wounded 30 said the suspect, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — "God is great!" in Arabic — before opening fire, base commander Lt. Gen. Robert Cone said. Cone said officials had not yet confirmed that Hasan, 39, made the comment. Authorities raided his apartment early Friday in a search for clues but haven't yet been able to talk to Hasan, who also survived the shootings and was hospitalized on a ventilator. Military officials were piecing together what pushed a man who helped troubled soldiers to turn on his comrades. The Army wouldn't discuss a motive in an early-morning press conference, but initial reports suggested he feared his imminent deployment to Afghanistan and had been critical of the wars there and in Iraq.

"He was mortified by the idea of having to deploy,” Hasan's cousin Nader Hasan told The New York Times. “He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there.”Cone said witnesses spoke of the methodical way Hasan conducted the rampage. About 300 soldiers were lined up to get shots and eye-testing at a Soldier Readiness Center when gunfire erupted. One soldier who was shot said that he "made the mistake of moving and I was shot again," Cone told CBS' "The Early Show." Those present during the massacre "would scramble to the ground and help each other out," he added. It was the worst mass killing ever to take place on a U.S. military base. All 28 wounded who remained hospitalized Friday were in stable condition, Fort Hood hospital commander Col. Steve Braverman told reporters. Hasan was unconscious in a hospital after being shot four times at the Army's sprawling Fort Hood post, officials said. In the early chaos after the shootings, authorities believed they had killed him, only to discover later that he had survived. "We are trying to make sense of all this," the suspect's cousin told Fox News. "He wasn't even someone who enjoyed going to the firing range." (Read more...)