Hasan Tied to Mosque of 9/11 Hijackers
A key U.S. senator said Sunday he would begin an investigation into whether the Army missed signs that the man accused of opening fire at Fort Hood had embraced an increasingly extremist view of Islamic ideology.
Sen. Joe Lieberman’s call for the investigation came as word surfaced that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan apparently attended the same Virginia mosque as two Sept. 11 hijackers in 2001, at a time when a radical imam preached there. Whether Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, associated with the hijackers is something the FBI will probably look into, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.Classmates participating in a 2007-2008 master’s program at a military college complained repeatedly to superiors about what they considered Hasan’s anti-American views. Dr. Val Finnell said Hasan gave a presentation at the Uniformed Services University that justified suicide bombing and told classmates that Islamic law trumped the U.S. Constitution. Another classmate said he complained to five officers and two civilian faculty members at the university. He wrote in a command climate survey sent to Pentagon officials that fear in the military of being seen as politically incorrect prevented an “intellectually honest discussion of Islamic ideology” in the ranks. The classmate also requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wants Congress to determine whether the shootings constitute a terrorist attack. “If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance,” Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said on “Fox News Sunday.” ”He should have been gone.” Authorities continue to refer to Hasan, 39, as the only suspect in the shootings that killed 13 and wounded 29, but they won’t say when charges would be filed and have said they have not determined a motive. Hasan, who was shot by civilian police to end the rampage, was in critical but stable condition at an Army hospital in San Antonio. He was breathing on his own after being taken off a ventilator on Saturday, but officials won’t say whether Hasan can communicate. Sixteen victims remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds, and seven were in intensive care. Hasan’s family described a man incapable of the attack, calling him a devoted doctor and devout Muslim who showed no signs that he might lash out. “I’ve known my brother Nidal to be a peaceful, loving and compassionate person who has shown great interest in the medical field and in helping others,” his brother, Eyad Hasan, of Sterling, Va., said in a statement Saturday. “He has never committed an act of violence and was always known to be a good, law-abiding citizen.”