U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan massacred a group of soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas. He is U.S.-born Muslim who, as probing indicates, has had past contact with jihadists, including the radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki is a U.S.-born imam who champions a jihadist ideology. He was included at some length in the 9/11 commission report for his connection to the 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. Al-Awlaki posted a message on his Web site on November 9 extolling what Hasan did.
The main thrust of the Hasan investigations is understandably related to national security, far beyond regarding the case as a mere violation of the law. Authorities want to know ‘whom the suspect is connected to and whom he is talking to or planning with.’ The ultimate objective in such investigations is to uncover the networks of jihadist actors working in association in the United States and possibly elsewhere.
Because Hasan is a member of the armed forces, his case will be handled under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). As it is, the FBI is conspicuously absent from the current investigation proceedings.
What is unusual is that ‘there are some who would like to see the Hasan case remain a criminal matter rather than a case of terrorism. Following the shooting death of Luqman Ameen Abdullah and considering the delicate relationship between Muslim advocacy groups and the U.S. government, some people would rather see Hasan portrayed as a mentally disturbed criminal than as an ideologically driven lone wolf.’