Ft. Hood Gunman's Religion Raising Question About Motive
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Investigators are continuing to learn more about the man accused of killing 13 people and injuring 28 others during a shooting rampage Thursday, and his religion is now raising questions about his motive.
Before firing his first shot, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was reported to be heard shouting an Arabic phrase meaning God is great. Hasan is currently at a military hospital in San Antonio in stable condition but still unable to speak.
Those who knew Hasan said he was a loner who was sometimes harassed and who didn't want to deploy to Iraq.
Dr. Val Finnell was a former classmate of Hasan in California and said he was a quiet man who at times was extreme in his views.
"He publicly declared that the global war on terror was a global war on Islam. He was also very contentious and argumentative, became, you know, visibly upset when people challenged him on his views," Finnell said.
Investigators have located a shooting range near Fort Hood where Hasan practiced in his spare time as well as the gun store where a few weeks ago he bought the murder weapon, a semi automatic pistol which carries a clip of 20 rounds and is known on the street as a cop killer.
Hasan's apartment has been searched, his computer and cell phone were seized. Investigators are now trying to run down all his contacts and the Web sites he visited. He gave away most of his possessions and food earlier this week.
On the morning of the shooting, he was seen at a convenience store dressed in traditional Arab garb.
The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Hasan's actions a cowardly attack, and they hope others remember Islam is a religion of peace.
"We condemn the actions that took place," said Razi Hashmi, CAIR Oklahoma executive director. "One thing that people who tend to go on the fridge, forget, is the essential principals of Islam is if you kill an innocent person, it's as if you killed all of humanity."
But there has already been backlash from the Fort Hood shooting, especially on the Internet where some are urging the military to remove Muslims from the Armed Forces.
More on News9.com: Oklahoma Muslims Condemn Ft. Hood Attack