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article imageU.S. Army shrink captured after killing 12, wounding 31 Special

By Salim Jiwa     Nov 5, 2009 in Crime
A U.S. Army psychiatrist, Dr. Nidal Malik Hasan is in custody after 12 were shot and 31 wounded at the base at Fort Hood, in Texas. Two Facebook pages are now asking how he should be punished. But did Hasan post a blog calling suicide bombings heroic?
WASHINGTON - A U.S. Army major opened fire at fellow soldiers getting ready for deployment, killing 12 and wounding 31.
Initially, the base reported at least two soldiers were directly involved in firing at fellow soldiers getting ready for deployment at the Fort Hood in Texas. A new statement said, however, only one soldier was involved.
Authorities also reversed an earlier indication the man was dead.They now say the suspect survived and is at an undisclosed location.
The U.S. military confirmed in a telephone interview that the shooter is a Major in the U.S. army. He was shot when he opened fire, but not before 12 went down. The shooter survived and a military spokesman suggested the injury is not life threatening.
The shooter has been identified as Dr. Nidal Hasan, a fellow at the centre for the study of traumatic stress. He was also an army psychiatrist. He is an American born soldier whose ancestors lived in Jordan. Multiple media reports have also identified him as the shooter and a Facebook page group is now asking how he should be punished.
Authorities have confirmed he was firing with two hand guns. Questions have also surfaced about a blog posting on a website under the name NidalHasan which endorses suicide bombings as an act of heroism.
While it is not certain the posting belongs to the suspected shooter, many have started posting venomous comments on the blog.
"If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory," said the posting made by NidalHasan on http://www.scribd.com/NidalHasan.
The FBI could not be reached to comment on whether the blog posting belongs to the suspect, as net surfers seem to have assumed, along with some TV stations.
What led to an apparently premeditated attack on his own comrades is not clear, nor is it clear if he is from the large base that often acts as a conduit for smaller bases deploying to other areas.
"He was an a U.S. army major," said army spokesman Wayne Hall in an interview from the Pentagon with Digital Journal about the shooter..
An army major is a senior field rank at the brigade level, he explained. "He is not a low ranking officer."
"At last count we had 12 dead and 31 wounded," he said, adding that the victims were almost all soldiers.
"First and foremost the families are in our thoughts and prayers and we'll do everything to take care of them," said Hall.
An earlier press release painted a somewhat different picture, however, it could be that the chaos that ensued could have created misleading reports to be put out.
"Department of Emergency Services officials confirmed at approximately 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5 that more than one shooter fired shots into the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center and Howze Theater on Fort Hood," said a statement by Christopher J. Haug, at Fort Hood.
"Emergency personnel have responded to the scene and evacuated several wounded," he said.
"I am deeply saddened by the tragic events today at Fort Hood. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen, the wounded, and all those touched by this incident. There is little we can say at this point to alleviate the pain or answer the many questions this event raises, but I can pledge that the Department of Defense will do everything in its power to help the Fort Hood community get through these difficult times," said Defence Secretary Gates in a statement.
President Barack Obama issued the following statement:
"My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood. These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis.
" It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an army base on American soil. I've spoken to secretary Gates, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and I will continue to receive a constant stream of updates as new information comes in.
"We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, the department of homeland security all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government. In the meantime, I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers.
"We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident and I want all of you to know that as commander in chief, there's no greater honor but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they're at home is provided for," the president said.
More about Fort hood, Nidal malik hasan, Shooting, Obama, Gates
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