The Associated Press says a “troubling portrait” has emerged of Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused in a murder rampage Thursday at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. His name appears on radical Internet postings. A fellow officer says he fought his deployment to Iraq and argued with soldiers who supported U.S. wars. He required counseling as a medical student because of problems with patients. And authorities said he shouted “God is great” in Arabic as he began the shooting that left 13 dead and 31 wounded.
For six years before reporting for duty at Fort Hood in July, the 39-year-old Army major worked at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pursuing his career in psychiatry, as an intern, a resident and, last year, a fellow in disaster and preventive psychiatry. He received his medical degree from the military’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., in 2001. He studied at Virginia Tech as an undergraduate. While an intern at Walter Reed, Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision, one source said. At least six months ago, Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement officials because of Internet postings about suicide bombings and other threats, including posts that equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades. They had not determined for certain whether Hasan is the author of the posting, but federal search warrants were being drawn up to authorize the seizure of Hasan’s computer.