A U.S. Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 during a shooting spree at the military base in Fort Hood, Texas will be tried before a military court and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for his alleged role in the November 2009 rampage. Witnesses recount a man in combat fatigues firing indiscriminately as he repeatedly shouted Allahu Akhbar or God is Great in Arabic.
Hasan's attorney, John Galligan, had sought to spare Hasan from the death penalty, and told The Associated Press that the Army as an institution has long been planning to charge Hasan in a military court. Hasan is paralyzed from the waist down from an injury sustained during the shooting.
As people scrambled for answers in the aftermath of the shooting, a picture emerged of Hasan feeling increasingly isolated from the military and dismayed by the descriptions returning soldiers gave of their experiences overseas. In a 2007 Powerpoint presentation, he warned that it was becoming increasingly difficult for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims. Investigators found that Hasan had sent as many as 20 e-mails to the radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki.