Archive for Friday, November 13, 2009

Suspect charged with 13 counts of murder

November 13, 2009


— An Army psychiatrist was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Fort Hood massacre as he lay in a hospital bed Thursday, while President Barack Obama ordered a review to determine if the government fumbled warning signs of the man’s contacts with a radical Islamic cleric.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted.

Army officials said they believe Hasan acted alone when he jumped on a table with two handguns last week, shouted “Allahu akbar” and opened fire. The dead included at least three other mental health professionals; 29 were injured.

Additional charges were possible, said Chris Grey, spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command. It had not been decided whether to charge Hasan with the death of the unborn child of a pregnant soldier who died, officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case publicly.

Meanwhile, Obama ordered a review of all intelligence related to Hasan to determine whether it was properly shared and acted upon within the government. John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, will oversee the review. The first results are due Nov. 30. Obama also ordered the preservation of the intelligence.

Members of Congress are pressing for a full investigation into why Hasan was not detected and stopped. A Senate hearing on Hasan is scheduled for next week.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, and others have called for a full examination of what agencies knew about Hasan’s contacts with a radical imam and others of concern to the U.S., and what they did with the information. Hoekstra confirmed this week that the U.S. government knew of about 10 to 20 e-mails between Hasan and a radical imam, beginning in December 2008.


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