Fort Hood shooting suspect charged with 13 murders

Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:38pm EST
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By Chris Baltimore

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army has charged a military psychiatrist with 13 counts of murder in last week's shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army base, which shocked the country as it prepared to celebrate Veterans Day.

An Army spokesman said on Thursday that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, a Muslim born in the United States of immigrant parents, was charged with murdering the 13 victims of the November 5 rampage at Fort Hood, the world's biggest military facility.

He could face the death penalty and the case has drawn criticism of army intelligence after it became known that Hasan had been in contact with an Islamic figure sympathetic to al Qaeda.

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of how U.S. intelligence agencies handled information they may have gathered about Hasan following questions about whether authorities may have missed warning signs about him.

Hasan is undergoing treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas for wounds from the gunshots that took him down during the attack.

If convicted of premeditated murder by a military court he could face the death penalty, a U.S. military official said.

The Army is not ruling out bringing future charges against Hasan. "We are doing everything possible and we are looking at every reason for this shooting," said Chris Grey, a spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigation Division.

Hasan's lawyer, retired Col. John Galligan, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.   Continued...

<p>Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army doctor identified by authorities as the suspect in a mass shooting at the U.S. Army post in Fort Hood, Texas, is seen in this undated handout photo from a pdf file of the U.S. Government Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences downloaded on November 6, 2009. REUTERS/Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Handout</p>