Fort Hood Shooter Sentenced to Death
Nidal Malik Hasan, the US army psychiatrist-turned terrorist who killed 13 people and wounded 32 more in 2009 a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, has been sentenced to death for the attack.
Hasan was found guilty of the massacre last Friday, and was convicted on 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 of attempted murder by a panel of senior military officers.
During the trial, the American-born Muslim rejected the judge's recommendation and represented himself, in a tactic his government-appointed legal representatives said was an attempt by Hasan, who was subsequently shot and left paralyzed from the waist-down before being apprehended, to secure the death penalty for himself and die as a "martyr."
Hasan has previously stated that he had hoped to die during his attack.
But in his closing argument, military prosecutor Col. Mike Mulligan dismissed that motivation.
"He’ll never be a martyr,” he said, “This is not his gift to God. This is his debt to society. This is the cost of his murderous rampage."
"It was conscious decision to commit murder to serve his own needs, his own wants. His attack by him was all about him. This is about his soul; for his soul he stole life from 13 others."
Hasan has admitted to the massacre, claiming that the US was waging a "war on Islam" and that he had "switched sides," becoming a devout Muslim and exchanging emails with notorious Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in the run-up to the attack. In one such email, Hasan reportedly asked Awlaki whether a soldier who was killed attacking his fellow comrades could be considered a shaheed or martyr.
Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in September 2011.
Hasan was born in the United States to parents born in pre-state Israel, who identify as Palestinian. As an adult he joined the U.S. army and learned in military medical school.
Shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan walked into Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center with two guns and opened fired after screaming “Allahu akbar!”
His superiors have been criticized for missing signs of his growing radicalization. In one incident Hasan was said to have given a presentation to senior Army doctors about Islam and suicide bombers. During that presentation he reportedly called for Muslims to be allowed to leave the armed forces as "conscientious objectors," warning of "adverse events" if they were not allowed to do so.