Hasan sends writings to Fox News ahead of Fort Hood shooting trial
On the eve of his military trial, accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan released seven pages of handwritten and typed documents to Fox News in which he appears to renounce his U.S. citizenship, abandons his military oath as a commissioned officer, and explains his relationship with radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — the first American targeted for death by the CIA.
Most of the documents also include the acronym “SoA,” which is considered shorthand for “Soldier of Allah.” Hasan’s business card, also bearing “SoA,” was found in his Texas apartment after the shooting.
Hasan’s attorney for civil matters, John Galligan, verified the authenticity of the documents and the signature, adding that the 42-year-old Army major, who is acting as his own attorney, directed him to provide the writings to Fox News.
“He represented to me that he either personally wrote in longhand or typed the statements at issue,” Galligan said. “All of the documents were prepared by Major Nidal Hasan and were sent, at his specific request, to your network.”
The documents may help illuminate Hasan’s state of mind and could challenge the Defense Department’s attempt to deal with the attack in the context of “workplace violence.”
“The government has tried to deny that this was an act of terrorism. I think that, I hope that if people hear the words from Hasan’s own mouth that they will understand that this was an act of terrorism,” Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009, told Fox News.
Manning first spoke to Fox News a year ago as part of the network’s ongoing investigation of the massacre. Manning said he supported publishing the documents from Hasan so that the American public can decide whether Fort Hood was an act of terrorism or “workplace violence.”
Manning, who will testify at the trial, and is part of a separate legal action, says the victims and their families are being denied certain benefits and pay because Fort Hood is not considered terrorism. At the same time, the accused shooter has collected nearly $300,000 in military pay since his arrest.
“Some of the survivors and some of the deceased, or family members of the deceased, are struggling. I think it’s a grave injustice, and it breaks my heart to see things like that happen,” Manning said.
In the only document bearing a date — Oct. 18, 2012 — Hasan writes: “I, Nidal Malik Hasan, am compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend (any – sic) man made constitution (like the constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam … I therefore formally renounce my oath of office … this includes my oath of U.S. citizenship.”
In another document, the only one which is typed, Hasan declares that American democracy and Shariah law are incompatible. “There is an inherent and irreconcilable conflict. … in an American Democracy ‘we the people’ govern according to what ‘we the people’ think is right or wrong; even if it specifically goes against what All-Mighty God commands.”
Dr. Timothy Furnish, an expert in Islamic history, told Fox News after reviewing the documents that they appear to be an “after the fact” attempt to explain himself.
“He now is trying to put the sort of personal jihad that he involved in, trying to put it in a larger religious and sort of geo-political context, and justify what he is doing perhaps in a sense to himself and also I think in large measure to folks in the Islamic world, the Al Qaedas and the others who approve of what he did,” he said.
On his relationship with the radical cleric Awlaki, with whom he exchanged emails before the massacre, Hasan also wrote: “He (al-Awlaki) was my teacher, mentor and friend. I hold him in high esteem for trying to educate Muslims about their duties to our creator. May All-Mighty Allah accept his martyrdom.”
“He’s clearly saying that he’s a homegrown extremist, that he’s somebody who identifies with Al Qaeda’s ideology,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and writer for the Long War Journal. “He’s somebody who definitely reached out to an Al Qaeda cleric and who decided he was going to take up Al Qaeda’s cause here on American soil.”
In court on Wednesday, the military judge in the case denied the use of three alleged emails between Hasan and al-Awlaki by the prosecution and also declined to impose a gag order on Hasan.
Fox News contacted the public affairs office at Fort Hood, asking whether prosecutors wished to comment on the Hasan writings. There was no immediate comment.
My comments… “This has always been about terrorism, no matter what the Obama Administration has said, or not said.”