Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hasan says he was on wrong side in war of terror

Ft. Hood - In a voice choking with emotion, Maj. Abu Nidal Malik Hasan followed a detailed opening by an Army prosecutor by saying the evidence will show he is the shooter who killed 13 unarmed soldiers and wounded 32 on Nov. 5, 2009.

“But the evidence will only show one side.”

Regaining his composure, he finished by saying, “The evidence will show I was on the wrong side.”

According to the Army prosecutor, Hasan targeted only uniformed soldiers and two police officers.

One civilian, a retired Chief Warrant Officer named Cahill who was manning one of the stations in the medical facility, rushed him “armed only with a chair,” the prosecutor said. He would fall victim to the onslaught of deadly fire directed by twin red and green laser sights mounted on a pistol Hasan bought because “it is the most technologically advanced weapon of its type.”

The attack began at 1:20 p.m. when Hasan approached receptionist La Toya Williams in area 13 where he sat with 45 soldiers in a reception area of the Soldier Readiness Center. He told her the Officer in Charge wanted to see her in his office. Though she thought it a strange request, she obeyed him because he was wearing the uniform of a Major.

When she cleared the area, Hasan began to target only soldiers, sparing civilians, and aiming for men and women wearing the Army Combat Uniform.

The evidence will show that he was armed with an FN Herstal 5.7 x 28 mm semiautomatic pistol he bought at Guns Galore shortly after he moved to Killeen. He had loaded 16 magazines which he transported in the cargo pockets of his uniform trousers, padded with paper towels to keep them from clanking together as he walked. He also had a fully loaded .357 caliber revolver, which was found unused after he had been paralyzed by a shot from a 9 millimeter pistol fired into his chest by a military police officer named Michael Todd.

In the days leading to the shooting rampage, Maj. Hasan told a sergeant and another doctor with whom he served as a psychiatrist that he was opposed to being deployed to Afghanistan. “They have another think coming if they think they are going to deploy me,” he told the doctor.

He spent part of the morning before he reported to the Soldier Readiness Center at his apartment reading an article he had downloaded onto his laptop computer, an article written by a Taliban Imam who called for his followers to engage in religious jihad against soldiers of America and other allied nations.

In the course of the trial, jurors will hear three 911 calls placed by civilian women who hid under their desks while the shooting rampage unfolded. They will see dashcam videos made by patrol cars of officers who responded to the emergency, and view video and crime scene photos as well as autopsy photos, hear FBI agents’ testimony regarding ballistics reports tracing the trajectories of rounds that missed their targets, and hear the reports of medical examiners and eyewitnesses.

The prosecutor stressed that the entire attack lasted only minutes, but during those few minutes, Hasan expended more than 80 rounds of the armor-piercing ammunition, that he targeted only uniformed soldiers.

Testimony continues as the prosecution called the first witness shortly after 10 a.m. local time.

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