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Fri., Nov. 6, 2009, 8:09 p.m.

Who is Major Nidal Malik Hasan?

Photo Credit: AP (The Spokesman-Review)
Photo Credit: AP (The Spokesman-Review)

Good evening, Netizens...

Who is this man? Obviously he is Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who went on a shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding countless others. However that nor any of the other facts surrounding Hasan's life can explain why he acted as he did.

Yet this afternoon, reading in various places on the Internet I have heard him called a recent recruit to Muslim faith, a “sleeper” terrorist, perhaps part of a covert terrorist group intent upon more crimes, and the list of possibilities goes on and on. At least based upon what few facts we have about Hasan, perhaps none of the allegations are true. The FBI, Army military authorities and local and state police are still attempting to put together a cogent picture of what motivated Hasan, a psychiatrist, to “come unglued” and start killing people.

At present, on Friday evening, he is in a coma at the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio in critical condition.

What little we know is Hasan is an American born in Virginia of Palestinian parents. Hasan graduated from medical school at the Uniformed Services University in 2003, said Sharon K. Willis, speaking for the school.

He then entered a psychiatry residency program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which he completed in 2007. He returned to the university for the disaster and military psychiatry fellowship in 2007. The first phase of that fellowship is earning a master of public health degree, which he completed in 2008. He completed the fellowship program in June. A month later, Hasan reported for duty at Fort Hood.

There is a considerable amount of evidence, mostly from his neighbors in the apartment complex in which he lived, that he was a gentle, caring and kindly person who most viewed as a decent man.

If Hasan lives we may actually get some answers about what motivated the man. If he dies of his wounds we may never know what motivated him to kill some of the people he was sworn to help.



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.