Fort Hood Victims: Breaking News UPDATES On Shooting Fallout
Monday, 1:20 a.m. EST:
Fox News is reporting that Nidal Hasan "frequented" a strip club not far from the military base, visiting at least three times within the last month and staying for 6-7 hours, according to the club's manager. Fox goes on to interview a stripper with the stage name "Paige," who says Hasan was the first customer she ever gave a lap dance to.
Hasan's presence at the club paints a starkly different portrait of the alleged killer from that offered by his imam and family members, who have described him as a devout Muslim, and one who had difficulty finding a wife who would wear a head scarf and would pray five times a day.
Monday, 1:10 a.m. EST:
The Washington Post has profiled the 12 soldiers and 1 civilian who died after Friday's alleged attack at Fort Hood. The Post's profiles include tender details about the deceased and the lives they lived. A pregnant soldier, a bomb disposal specialist with a gift for guitar playing, and a civilian history buff are among those profiled.
Monday, 1:02 a.m. EST:
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP)--Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday he would begin an investigation into whether the Army missed signs that the man accused of opening fire at Fort Hood had embraced an increasingly extremist view of Islamic ideology.
Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wants Congress to determine whether the shootings constitute a terrorist attack.
"If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance," Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said on "Fox News Sunday." "He should have been gone."
Monday, 12:56 a.m. EST:
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP)-- A U.S. Army spokesman says the man authorities say went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood is in critical but stable condition.
Spokesman Col. John Rossi told reporters on Sunday at Fort Hood that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is still hospitalized in Texas. He was taken off a ventilator on Saturday.
Hasan was shot during an exchange of gunfire during Thursday's attack. The military moved him on Friday to Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Hood.
Sunday - 5:56 p.m.:
WASHINGTON (AP)-- The alleged Fort Hood shooter apparently attended the same Virginia mosque as two Sept. 11 hijackers in 2001, at a time when a radical imam preached there.
Whether the Fort Hood shooter associated with the hijackers is something the FBI will probably look into, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
The family of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who killed 13 and wounded 31 at the Texas military base, held his mother's funeral at the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., on May 31, 2001, according to her obituary in the Roanoke Times newspaper.
At the time, Anwar Aulaqi was an imam, or spiritual leader, at the Washington-area mosque. Aulaqi told the FBI in 2001 that, before he moved to Virginia in early 2001, he met with 9/11 hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi several times in San Diego. Al-Hazmi was at the time living with Khalid al-Mihdhar, another hijacker. Al-Hazmi and another hijacker, Hani Hanjour, attended the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Virginia in early April 2001.
In his FBI interview, Aulaqi denied ever meeting with al-Hazmi and Hanjour while in Virginia.
Aulaqi, a native-born U.S. citizen, left the United States in 2002, eventually traveling to Yemen. He was investigated by the FBI in 1999 and 2000 after it was learned that he may have been contacted by a possible procurement agent for Osama bin Laden. During this investigation, the FBI learned that Aulaqi knew people involved in raising money for Hamas, a Palestinian group on the U.S. State Department's terrorist list.
Shaker el Sayed, the current imam at Dar Al Hijrah, declined to comment when reached Sunday by The Associated Press.
Faizul Khan, former imam of the Muslim Community Center in nearby Silver Spring, Md., where Hasan also worshipped, said he was not aware that Hasan had attended services at Dar al Hijrah but said it would not be unusual for Hasan to attend more than one mosque concurrently.
Khan said he did not recall Hasan mentioning having been taught or preached to by Aulaqi.
The London Telegraph first reported the potential link between Hasan and the mosque.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said Sunday it's important for the country not to get caught up in speculation about Hasan's Muslim faith, and he has instructed his commanders to be on the lookout for anti-Muslim reaction to the killings at the Texas post.
He says focusing on the Islamic roots of the suspected shooter could "heighten the backlash" against all Muslims in the military.
Casey says diversity in the military "gives us strength."
Casey declined to answer questions about the investigation into the shooting, but said evidence to this point shows that Hasan acted alone. He toured Fort Hood on Friday with Army Secretary John McHugh.
Casey appeared on ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union."
Associated Press Writers Eileen Sullivan and Ben Nuckols contributed to this story.
Saturday - 8:47 p.m.:
Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, have visited wounded soldiers and their families at Fort Hood.
The Bushes made their private visit to Fort Hood's Darnall Army Medical Center on Friday night and according to the Los Angeles Times, the Bushes told the base's commander that they wanted no publicity.
...Sources said the former first couple spent about two hours meeting with family and soldiers, talking quietly and at times hugging them as they did in private at other times of crisis such as post-9/11.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A U.S. Army spokesman says Nidal Hasan has been taken off a ventilator but still remains in intensive care at Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Hood.
Spokesman Col. John Rossi told reporters on Saturday at Fort Hood that he is not sure if Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is able to communicate. Army officials have said Hasan is "not able to converse."
STERLING, Va. -- A brother of the man authorities say went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood says the Army psychiatrist is peaceful person -- and hopes he will be treated fairly by the legal system.
Eyad (ee-YAHD') Hasan said in an e-mail statement released Saturday that he hopes authorities will give his family information on Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's condition. He also says he hopes his brother is allowed the right to an attorney when he gains consciousness.
The brother says the Army major is a compassionate person who has never committed an act of violence.
He also says his family is praying for everyone affected by the "horrific events that transpired at Fort Hood.
5:00 p.m.-- Accused Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan purchased one of the weapons and ammunition he allegedly used during the attack on August 1, 2009, according to anonymous law enforcement sources who spoke to Newsweek. Both sources believe Hasan planned the attack. The timing of Hasan's purchase is also curious as it coincides with the dates of a previously reported internet posting (allegedly by Hasan) that drew similarities between kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers. Newsweek's Declassified blog:
The transfer -- and the gun purchase -- also came while Hasan may have been undergoing a period of increasing alienation from the U.S. and expressing sympathy for Muslim militants. An Internet posting written by someone with the screen name of "NidalHasan" compared Islamic suicide bombers to Japanese kamikaze pilots...
To some in law enforcement - including the one who spoke to Newsweek -- the purchase of the high-powered gun, the Internet writing and Hasan's alleged shouting of "Allah U Akbar" (Arabic for "God is Great") during the attack - suggest that the Fort Hood shooting should be viewed more as a terrorist act by a "lone wolf" Muslim extremist than as the work of a troubled physician who "snapped" under pressure.
11:25am -- New names and details emerge about the victims in the Fort Hood shootings. Click HERE for an updated list of the the deceased.
10:53 AM ET -- Hasan Asked Muslim Leader For Advice On What To Tell Soldiers Worried About Fighting Muslims In Iraq And Afghanistan (AP) A Muslim leader says the Army psychiatrist suspected of going on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood asked him for advice on what he should tell soldiers who had concerns about going to fight Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Osman Danquah (oos-MAHN' dahn-KWAH') is the co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen. He says he had a bad feeling about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan after the two talked twice in late summer.
He told The Associated Press on Saturday that Hasan regularly attended services at the mosque in his uniform.
Danquah says Hasan never mentioned any anger toward the Army or indicated any plans for violence but seemed incoherent during their second conversation.
Danquah says he told Hasan that there was "something wrong with you."
10:34 AM ET -- Was Hasan working alone? The New York Times has a piece up this morning pulling together details on whether Hasan was working with an accomplice.
The local police said that ballistics tests showed there was only one gunman and that none of the casualties had been hit by bullets fired by the police.
But the military and federal investigators pointedly refused to release further details on how the shootings happened, why there were initial reports of multiple attackers and why officials took several hours to correct news media reports that Major Hasan had been killed.
Most significant, officials were not prepared to say whether the attack was the act of a lone and troubled man or connected to terrorist groups, foreign or domestic.
8:00 AM ET -- Friday night, Fort Hood community, families, gathered for a candlelit vigil. (AP) A chaplain exhorted hundreds of mourners gathered at a candlelight vigil to not give up hope as Fort Hood and its surrounding community looked to each other for comfort after an Army psychiatrist allegedly went on a deadly shooting spree at the military post.
A grief counseling center was set up Friday at the Killeen Community Center to help residents struggling to make sense of one of the worst mass shootings ever on a military facility in the United States. At least 13 people died and more than two dozen were wounded in the attack a day earlier.
"Remember to keep breathing. ... Keep going," Douglas Carver, the Army's chief chaplain, told the crowd of several hundred at the vigil, many dressed in fatigues and black berets.
The alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was wounded and taken into custody after a gunfire exchange with two civilian police officers. At least 13 people died and more than two dozen were wounded.
Like other military installations nationwide, the bonds between Fort Hood and the town at its doorstep are tight. Town merchants depend on the soldiers who shop at their stores and eat at their restaurants. Locals show their appreciation and support for the troops, hoisting giant yellow ribbons and raising money for charities benefiting Fort Hood soldiers stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"Most of our clientele are soldiers, so this affects everyone in the community," said James Carpenter, 34, a tattoo artist at Zombie Ink and a former soldier who had been stationed at Fort Hood before he left the Army in 2003. "Everyone is asking why and saying, `I can't believe he did that.'"
Witnesses said Hasan stood on a desk and began firing after walking into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, where troops who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening. Those who weren't hit by direct fire were struck by rounds ricocheting off the desks and tile floor.
Officials say the gunman was stopped after two civilian police officers arrived on the scene and began a firefight with Hasan, who was hit four times including at least once in the torso.
Most of the shooting survivors remained hospitalized, many in intensive care. Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, visited wounded soldiers Friday night at the post hospital. A Bush spokesman said the couple spoke with family members of the wounded and personally thanked hospital staff members and Fort Hood leaders.
Hasan was transferred Friday to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Hood. Army officials late Friday gave no indication of his condition except to say he was "not able to converse."
Some who knew Hasan said he may have been struggling with a pending deployment to Afghanistan and faced pressure in his work with distressed soldiers, although authorities still did not have a motive.
Hasan's Palestinian uncle said his nephew loved America and wanted to serve his country.
Rafik Hamad, 64, told the Associated Press in the West Bank town of El-Bireh that Hasan had been harassed by other soldiers because of his Muslim faith but that he was not angry.
"He really wasn't angry ... I felt that he feels sympathy for them because they are ignorant and that's their level of understanding," Hamad said.
Fort Hood spokesman Col. John Rossi said that the assailant fired more than 100 rounds and that his weapons were not military arms, but "privately owned weapons ... purchased locally."
Shock over the shootings persisted into Friday night, when hundreds attended a candlelight vigil in the first formal community gathering since the killings. Earlier in the day, a moment of silence was held at U.S. military installations as a show of respect for the victims, and 13 flag-draped coffins departed from Fort Hood for Dover Air Force Base and the military's mortuary based in Delaware.
At the vigil, husbands wrapped their arms around their wives, babies cried and old men in wheelchairs bowed their heads during the service at a post stadium. The crowd sang "God Bless America" and "Amazing Grace" in the bleachers under the stadium lights. After about 20 minutes, the stadium went dark, the only light from camera flashes and surrounding buildings in the distance as candles were passed around the bleachers.
It was a tough night for Maj. Dan Walker, 34, who returned from Kuwait in June, his third deployment overseas.
"I've been to a lot of these in my career," Walker said as he walked through the dark parking lot after the service. "They definitely don't get any easier, and this one is probably one of the toughest ones just because it came so close to home.
"When you go to war, you expect it and understand it," he added. "But this is different. When you come home, you try to relax and live as normal a life as possible. You don't expect this."
Among the victims were Francheska Velez, 21, of Chicago, who was pregnant and preparing to return home. Family members said Velez had recently returned from deployment in Iraq and had sought a lifelong career in the Army.
Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis., joined the Army after the 2001 terrorist attacks and had vowed to take on Osama bin Laden, her mother, Jeri Krueger said. Amy Krueger arrived at Fort Hood on Tuesday and was scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan in December, her mother told the Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc.
Pfc. Michael Pearson, 21, of the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, Ill., quit what he figured was a dead-end furniture company job to join the military about a year ago. Pearson's mother, Sheryll Pearson, said he joined the military because he was eager to serve his country and broaden his horizons.
Michael Grant Cahill, a 62-year-old physician assistant, suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and returned to work at the post as a civilian employee after taking just one week off for recovery, said his daughter Keely Vanacker.
Cahill, of Cameron, Texas, helped treat soldiers returning from tours of duty or preparing for deployment. Often, Vanacker said, Cahill would walk young soldiers where they needed to go, just to make sure they got the right treatment.
"He loved his patients, and his patients loved him," said Vanacker, 33, the oldest of Cahill's three adult children. "He just felt his job was important."
Associated Press writers Caryn Rousseau in Bolingbrook, Ill., Robert Imrie in Wausau, Wis., Monica Rhor in Houston, Sophia Tareen, Michael Tarm and Amy Shafer in Chicago, and Dalia Nammari in El-Bireh in the West Bank contributed to this report.