One conservative writer is already declaring — without citing any evidence — that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged shooter who killed 13 at Fort Hood yesterday, was acting at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood. So it’s a good time to lay out what we do and don’t know about the Fort Hood shooting case and the Army psychiatrist at the center of it.
In an interview with Frontpagemag, author Dave Gaubatz blames the Fort Hood killings on, among other Muslim groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says that Hasan was carrying out “the orders of the Muslim Brotherhood.” And he suggests that Hasan was sent out by radical Muslim leaders:
Malik Nabal Hasan [sic] is a terrorist supporting the ideology of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and yes, CAIR. In Palestine, the leaders send out the young and vulnerable to carry out the murders in the name of Islam. The same is happening in America.
In fact, CAIR released a statement denouncing the shootings almost immediately after reports of the incident:
No religious or political ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence. … American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured.”
Other Muslim groups have put out similar statements.
Gaubatz is the author of a book we’ve been following at TPMmuckraker — which has been endorsed by four House Republicans — called Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America. He has labeled President Obama “Muslim” and openly questioned the loyalty of the two Muslim members of Congress.
We’ve seen no evidence at this point that Hasan, who is Muslim, was acting on behalf of any group. But it’s been reported not just that Hasan is devoutly religious, but also that he may have proselytized in inappropriate contexts. Fort Hood’s base commander says that he shouted “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is Great” — before opening fire.
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin hails a “brilliant essay on the MSM whitewashing of jihad” in Pajamas Media. But from our vantage at TPM headquarters, the major networks have been acting responsibly on this front: giving the alleged shooter’s name and reporting the shout of “Allahu Akbar,” but hewing closely to the known facts.
Authorities were reportedly concerned about — but did not formally investigate — at least one Web posting by a “NidalHasan” that praised suicide bombers. “Scholars have paralled [an American solider jumping on a live grenade] to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers,” the commenter wrote on Scribd. There is no confirmation that Hasan is the commenter.
And the New York Times reports that the Virginia-born Hasan, son of Palestinian parents, had a long-held desire to get out of the Army. NPR reported this morning that Hasan had had troubles professionally, and an unnamed psychiatrist who worked with him at Walter Reed told the station he often didn’t show up to work on time and didn’t seem to take his work seriously.
At a lecture Hasan delivered for colleagues, NPR reported, “instead of giving an academic paper he gave a lecture on the Koran and they said it wasn’t, didn’t seem just like an informational lecture but it seemed to be his own beliefs.”
The Christian Science Monitor tracks downs the origins of the report that Hasan has been critical of US foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Terry Lee, a retired Army colonel who knew Hasan, told Fox News about a story he heard secondhand. He said a fellow colleague had told him that Hasan had made “outlandish comments” about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and US involvement in them and that “Muslims had a right to rise up and attack Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
In all of this, it’s also worth remembering — especially given the three-plus hour period yesterday when the military and the media were reporting that Hasan was dead, only to find out he is very much alive — that initial reports are sometimes simply wrong.
Late Update: Spencer Ackerman highlights a bogus report on WND — also the publisher of Muslim Mafia — which runs under the (false) headline: “Shooter advised Obama transition.”
Late Early Afternoon Update: The Army has now confirmed that Hasan was set to go to Afghanistan with a unit that provides behavioral health counseling. And the AP reports he cleared out his apartment in recent days, saying he was going to be deployed today.
Later Update: Bloomberg has an interesting piece that offers a somewhat more precise picture on that lecture we noted above. And a doctor who knew Hasan tells the wire service that Hasan “regularly described the war on terror as ‘a war against Islam.'”