FORT HOOD, Texas – The Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood mass shooting said in a statement to Fox News that the U.S. government is at war with Islam.
It’s the first statement Maj. Nidal Hasan has put out to the U.S. media. In the past, he has spoken via telephone with Al-Jazeera, the transcript of which is evidence in his upcoming trial.
“My complicity was on behalf of a government that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah to be the supreme law of the land,” Hasan said in the lengthy statement released to Fox News on Saturday. He then says in reference to a war on Islam, “I participated in it.”
Hasan, 42, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at the Texas Army post. His trial is scheduled to start Aug. 6. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
The American-born Muslim is serving as his own attorney and has made similar declarations during pre-trial hearings and jury selection. Fox News reported that Hasan didn’t directly address the shooting in his statement, which it said is more than six pages long.
Hasan also said in the statement that he regrets serving in the Army.
“I would like to begin by repenting to Almighty Allah and apologize to the Mujahideen, the believers, and the innocent. ... I ask for their forgiveness for participating in the illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims, their religion and their lands,” he told Fox News in the statement.
Hasan also has objected to the judge’s denial of his “defense of others” strategy, which must show that killing was necessary to prevent the immediate harm or death of others. Col. Tara Osborn has barred him from telling jurors that he shot U.S. troops because they were an imminent threat to Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.
At a hearing earlier this month, Hasan, who is paralyzed from the abdomen down after being shot by police the day of the Fort Hood shooting, said he wanted jurors to know that he was being forced to wear a camouflage uniform that he believes represents “an enemy of Islam.”