Should Fort Hood Shooting Victims Receive Purple Hearts?

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On November 5, 2009, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, located just outside of Killeen, Texas.  Before being wounded and captured, Hasan had killed 13 people and wounded 32 more.  He targeted only military personnel, passing by a number of civilians without shooting at them.

Due to base policy, none of the military personnel at Fort Hood are allowed to carry firearms except for military police, so those being targeted had no way of defending themselves.

Hasan is a Muslim and was found to have had communications with other Muslims that the federal government has listed as terrorists and on a watch list.  One of those was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American born member of al Qaeda who was operating in Yemen.  Several people have testified that Hasan counseled them against joining the military, telling them that Muslims should not be in the US military killing other Muslims.

Two days prior to the shooting, Hasan gave away all of his possessions to neighbors and told them that he was being deployed and had no need of them. He also handed out his business cards with copies of the Quran.  On his business card, he identified himself as Nidal Hasan, MD, MPH, SoA(SWT) Psychiatrist.  SoA is a commonly used acronym among Muslim jihadist which means Soldier of Allah.

Hasan was heard shouting “Allah Akhbar” as he was shooting military service men and women.  Yet, one investigator later said that the attack did not fit the profile of a terrorist attack but was more like the shooting that took place on the campus of Virginia Tech.  Against the wishes and demands of many who were there or who lost loved ones, the Army and Pentagon have decided that Hasan’s actions were not terroristic in nature.

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