Today, tradgedy was the scene at Ft. Hood, TX when Major Nidal Malik Hasan openned fire at fellow U.S. Soldiers awaiting deployment. In total, 12 were murdered and 31 others were wounded.
AFP – Muslim officer guns down 11 at Texas military base
A Muslim army officer about to be deployed to Iraq went on a shooting rampage at a sprawling Texas military base, killing 11 people and wounding 31 others before being gunned down.Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army psychiatrist, opened fire with two handguns at a processing center at Fort Hood for troops being deployed on missions to Iraq and Afghanistan.
A second suspected shooter was taken into custody, while two further suspects thought to be involved were later released without charge, military officials said.
“A shooter opened fire and essentially due to the quick response of the police forces was killed,” said Lieutenant General Bob Cone, commander at Fort Hood, the largest US military base in the world.
President Barack Obama, who had been kept informed of the shooting as the drama was tracked in the White House situation room, denounced the attack as a “horrific outburst of violence.”
“My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded. And with the families of the fallen,” Obama said.
The US Senate held a moment of silence late Thursday in somber acknowledgement of the shooting rampage.
Fort Hood, a massive base that is more like a small town housing tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, was locked down after the shooting for several hours as the shocked community searched for a possible motive.
Hasan had been harassed by his military colleagues because of his “Middle Eastern ethnicity,” his cousin said, dismissing speculation that the major was “afraid of deploying to go to war.”
“He was dealing with some harassment from his military colleagues,” Nader Hasan told Fox News.
Houston Chronicle – 12 killed in Fort Hood rampage
CBS News, quoting an anonymous source, reported that Hasan was a licensed psychiatrist in Bethesda, Md. and drug and rehab specialist who got his Virginia psychiatry license in 2005.
Federal law enforcement officials told the AP that Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats.
The officials say the postings appeared to have been made by Hasan, but are still trying to confirm that he was the author. They say an official investigation was not opened.
One of the Web postings that authorities reviewed is a blog that equates suicide bombers with a soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his comrades.