Nidal Malik Hassan

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Nidal Malik Hassan
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Full Name: Nidal Malik Hasan
Alias: Soldier of Allah
Origin: Arlington County, Virginia, United States
Occupation: U.S. Army psychiatrist (former)
Goals: Punish America for war crimes against Muslims (allegedly)
Crimes: Mass murder
Type of Villain: Mass Shooter


Nidal Malik Hassan (September 8th, 1970 - ) is a former U.S. Army soldier and mass murderer who committed a mass shooting at Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, at the time considered to be one of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since the September 11 attacks as well as the worst mass shooting to take place on a military base. He killed 13 people and injured over 30 others. Hassan himself became paralyzed from the waist down during the shooting.

Hasan was found guilty on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder on August 23, 2013, and was sentenced to death on August 28, 2013. He is currently sitting on Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Background

Hasan was born in Arlington County, Virginia at Virginia Hospital Center to Palestinian parents who immigrated to the U.S. from al-Bireh in the West Bank. Raised as a Muslim together with his two younger brothers, he attended Wakefield High School in Arlington for his freshman year. After his family moved to Roanoke in 1985, he attended William Fleming High School in Roanoke, Virginia. He graduated from high school in 1988. Hasan and his brothers helped their parents run the family's restaurant in Roanoke. Their father died in 1998 and their mother in 2001. As adults, one brother continued to live in Virginia and the other moved to Jerusalem. It is believed that he became a much more radicalized Muslim after the death of his parents.

Hasan joined the United States Army immediately after high school in 1988 and served eight years as an enlisted soldier while attending college. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. After earning his medical degree in 2003, Hasan completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He earned his Master's Degree in 2009, shortly before he transferred to Fort Hood.

As a psychiatrist, Hasan often counseled soldiers who'd seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq and struggled with PTSD. He reportedly became traumatized himself after hearing of the horrors they'd experienced while deployed and reportedly tried to get out of the military, but this claim is disputed. He also reportedly began showing Anti-American sentiments during this period, supposedly because of war crimes apparently being perpetrated by U.S. military forces against Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the time period leading up to the shooting, Hassan got in touch with Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam at a mosque in Northern Virginia who was secretly a senior recruiter for Al-Qaeda. Al-Awlaki further radicalized Hasan and allegedly introduced him to the concept of jihad.

Fort Hood shooting

On November 5, 2009, Hasan entered the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where personnel receive routine medical treatment immediately prior to and on return from deployment. He was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit and had been to the Center several times before. He was armed with the FN Five-seven pistol, which he had fitted with two Lasermax laser sights: one red, and one green. He shouted "Allahu Akbar!" (a popular war cry of radical jihadists) and began shooting.

All 13 fatalities occured in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, most of them either being soldiers who tried to stop Hassan or were fleeing. The shooting came to an end when Hassan ran out of bullets and was shot several times in the abdomen (which paralyzed him.)

Motives

Though a definitive motive has never been properly identified, it is widely accepted that Hassan's primary motive for the shooting was his increased radicalism in his faith in Islam, as well revenge against America for alleged war crimes against Muslims during the War on Terror.

Other sources claim that he was upset regarding his deployment to Afghanistan, as he believed that the U.S. military was specifically sending him to "kill Muslims."