Suspected Fort Hood Shooter Tried to Make Contact with Al Qaeda

November 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
ABC News is reporting the Army doctor accused of last week's massacre at Fort Hood tried to make connections with Al Qaeda. Meanwhile Major Nidal Hasan is now awake and conscious. He remains in stable condition, days after the attack that left 13 dead and dozens more injured. ABC News has learned U.S. intelligence agencies have found the alleged Fort Hood gunman was trying to make contact with individuals connected with Al Qaeda.

U.S. intelligence officials say the Army psychiatrist was contacting people under surveillance by the U.S., including Anwar Awlaki, a former imam of a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia who now runs a jihadist web site out of Yemen.

Sunday night that web site called Major Hasan a hero and a man of conscience.

"He would frequently say he was a Muslim first and an American second. And that came out in just about everything he did at the university," said Dr. Val Finnell with the U.S. Army.

Dr. Val Finnell, who studied with Hasan, said he complained to his superiors about the Army psychiatrist's strident views on the war and religion.

"We questioned how somebody could take an oath of office, be an officer in the military and swear allegiance to the constitution and to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and have that type of conflict," said Dr. Finnell.

But Hasan's supervisor told ABC News he showed no signs of an internal conflict that would turn violent.

"He was a dedicated and hardworking provider in my institution. He was somebody who did a very good job for us," said Deputy Commander of Clinical Services Col. Kimberly Kesling.

As Army and congressional investigators probe Hasan's past, Fort Hood workers erected a security barrier for a memorial service Tuesday that will be attended by President Obama.

Investigators may now learn more from Hasan himself. Officials at Brooke Army Medical Center say he is in critical condition but now able to talk with hospital staff.

      MORE NATIONAL NEWS | TWEET@ABC30 | FREE ABC30 WIDGET
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
Breaking News E-Mail Alerts | Text Message Alerts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More News on abc30.com
Local | California/State | Weather | Entertainment | Business | Politics | Sports | Health Watch | Consumer Watch | Mr. Food |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Load Comments