- (Photo: Reuters/Bell County Sheriff's Office/Handout)
Maj. Nidal Hasan, suspected of killing 13 people and wounding over 30 at a mass shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood in Texas, has revealed he supports Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, and that he believes the Islamic holy book, the Quran, justifies killing.
The Associated Press noted that if convicted of the murders, 42-year-old Hasan, who was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police, faces the death sentence or life in prison.
The jury for the military murder trial is currently being selected, with Hasan acting as an attorney because he has chosen to represent himself. According to AP, six Army officers were dismissed as potential jurors earlier this week after being questioned by the judge, Col. Tara A. Osborn, and prosecutors.
Separately, Hasan had asked a colonel whether his convictions that the Quran justifies killing people would prevent the colonel from being a fair juror. The colonel was among other potential jurors who said they would only consider evidence in the case.
According to AP, the FBI released emails sent by Hasan to a radical Muslim cleric, revealing his support for terrorists and his intrigue "with the idea of U.S. soldiers killing comrades in the name of Islam."
The major, who served as a psychiatrist in the army, has apparently told a military judge that what motivated his attack on Fort Hood was his belief that U.S. soldiers were about to be deployed to Afghanistan and posed an immediate threat to Taliban leaders.
A witness reportedly said that Hasan had shouted in Arabic "God is greatest" before opening fire at Fort Hood.