Malik Nadal Hassan Made Online Posts Praising Suicide Bombers?

(WIRED) Before he allegedly killed a dozen and wounded 31 more at Ft. Hood, Maj. Nidal Hasan may have gone online to praise suicide bombers.

If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory,” a commenter named “NidalHasan” wrote on this document about “Martydom in Islam.”

The comments — and others like them — drew the interest of federal law enforcement authorities, they tell the Associated Press’ Lara Jakes. An official investigation was never opened. But they did begin to pay attention to Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who was about to be deployed to Iraq.

The 39 year-old “was born and raised in Virginia, the son of immigrant parents from a small town near Jerusalem [who] joined the Army right out of high school, against his parents’ wishes,” the New York Times’ James Dao reports.

He served as a resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and trained in disaster psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. Neighbors remember him as a quiet, nice-seeming man who wore traditional Muslim dress. In May — a few weeks after his pro-bomber post — he participated in Homeland Security Policy Institute’s presidential transition task force.

When Hasan got word that he was going to ship off to Iraq. He was “mortified” about the idea, his cousin Nader Hasan tells Dao. “He was doing everything he could to avoid that.”

Hasan also wrote online of his admiration for suicide attackers. “Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i[f] you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam.”

U.S. News notes that three days before the rampage, Ft. Hood’s commander, Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, “issued a new mental health policy aimed at reducing the stigma associated with mental health counseling and encouraging soldiers to seek help.”

Hasan is now in custody, after being wounded in a gun battle following the murders.

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