Federal investigators have seized Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s computer as they began searching for clues behind Thursday’s shooting spree.
Federal investigators have seized Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s computer as they began searching for clues behind Thursday’s shooting.
An official told the Associated Press reports that authorities searched the Army officer’s home in Killeen, Texas, early this morning. Nidal is the suspect in a shooting Fort Hood, Texas, yesterday that left 13 people dead another 30 wounded. Lt. Gen. Bob Cone said the gunman opened fire around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon at the Soldier Readiness Center. That’s where soldiers being sent overseas, and those returning from deployment, undergo medical screenings. Nidal was killed, and two other soldiers were arrested following the shooting. There’s no word on the shooter’s motivation for the massacre, but a source speaking on the condition of anonymity said that he’d been trying to dodge his impending deployment to Iraq. He even offered to pay the military for all of his medical training in exchange for being let out of his contract.
Nidal was a psychiatrist, so it was part of his to speak with soldiers returning from missions overseas who were suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. "He was mortified by the idea of having to deploy," his cousin, Nader Hasan told The New York Times. "He had people telling him on a daily basis the horrors they saw over there."
The insider also said Nidal, who had Palestinian family roots, did not want to fight in Iraq, but he expressed a willingness to serve in Afghanistan. He was also a Muslim, and there are reports that he’d been harassed about his religion ever since the attacks on September 11, 2001. There’s no record that he ever filed a complaint about that, though.
Police has been keeping a close eye on Nidal. About six months ago they found his name attached to radical postings online. One such comment compared suicide bombers to soldiers that cover grenades with their own bodies in order to protect their fellow fighters. However, there is no word on whether the gunman was actually the author of those postings.
– Sonya Eskridge