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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hasan tells court

Hasan tells court

Maj. Nidal Hasan made that blunt declaration Tuesday at the outset of his courtmartial in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood. The Army psychiatrist is charged with killing 13 comrades and wounding more than 32 at a processing center for soldiers heading into combat zones overseas.

The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter, Hasan told the panel of 13 senior officers who will decide his fate. The evidence presented with this trial will show one side. The evidence will also show that I was on the wrong side. I then switched sides.

Prosecutors said Hasan turned the processing center into a combat zone himself. Investigators found 146 spent shell casings in the room where the attack began, Col. Michael Mulligan said. Prosecutors hope to show that the devout Muslim had undergone a progressive radicalization, giving presentations in defense of suicide bombings and about soldiers conflicted between military service and their religion when such conflicts result in crime.

Hasan did not want to deploy to fight against other Muslims and believed that he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible, said Mulligan, the lead prosecutor in the case. He carried 420 rounds of ammunition, his pockets lined with paper towels to muffle the sounds of the magazines banging together, and opened fire in the processing center with two lasersighted pistols, Mulligan said.

At the outset of his assault, Hasan cried out Allahu Akbar . and starts shooting at the soldiers sitting defenseless in chairs, Mulligan said.

Internet searches on Hasans computer used keywords like terrorist killing, innocent, Quran, fatwas and suicide bombings, Mulligan said.

And Hasan told the panel, We mujahedeen are trying to establish the perfect religion. But, he added, I apologize for the mistakes I made in this endeavor.

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