Fort Hood Shooter Asks Islamic State to Make Him a Citizen

As far as I know, the authorities are still calling the murderous actions of Foot Hood Shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.

Nadal Hasan

I understand that he hasn’t been identified as part of a group. But so what? It might still turn out that the Tsarnaev brothers weren’t part of a larger conspiracy. Does that make the Boston Marathon bombing any less an act of terrorism? (Perhaps the fact that Hasan murdered military people and thus did not really hit a civilian target is relevant. But it is still an act of war and betrayal, not “workplace violence.”)

But now it becomes even more absurd. Hasan wants citizenship in the Islamic State. CNN reports,

 The Army psychiatrist who killed 13 people at Fort Hood has written a letter to the leader of ISIS, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State’s caliphate, his attorney said Thursday.

“The letter states that Nadal Hasan wants to become a citizen of the Islamic State caliphate,” attorney John Galligan said. “He wrote it in the last few weeks.”

Details of the letter were first reported by Fox News on Thursday.

Described as a two page letter, it was addressed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the notorious leader of ISIS who declared himself the caliph – the religious ruler – over what he calls the Islamic State that he says stretches from western Syria to eastern Iraq.

U.S. weighs drone strike on ISIS leader

“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State,” Hasan wrote in the letter, according to Fox News.

“It would be an honor for any believers to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers.”

Hasan is on the military’s death row at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

One of the most bizarre aspects of this story is that Hasan’s lawyer claims to think that his client’s request for citizenship should help him appeal his death sentence.

[See also, “Should Fort Hood Shooting Victims Receive Purple Hearts.”]

According to Fox News:

Hasan’s attorney, John Galligan, said the letter “underscores how much of his life, actions and mental thought process are driven by religious zeal. And it also reinforces my belief that the military judge committed reversible error by prohibiting Major Hasan from both testifying and arguing…how his religious beliefs” motivated his actions during the shooting.

While I think judges wield far too much power in censoring defendants, I don’t see how Hasan’s religious motivations are supposed to change the outcome of the jury’s verdict. The man killed people in service of a false god. How is that any less contemptible?