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David Hines [userpic]

the Fort Hood shooting

November 6th, 2009 (08:46 am)
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The story of Nidal Hasan is really weird. The facts have been rewritten multiple times, to the point that the guy's first and middle names were initially swapped and other stuff has changed constantly (for example: were there other shooters? we initially heard three; it's still fuzzy). There are, at the moment, multiple possible motives. Hasan's a psychiatrist, so he's highly educated; he's also very religious (he prosyletized to the point that people at work told him to knock it off), which are a couple of red flashing lights because, contra reports that poverty and desperation breed terrorists, intelligent and middle-class-and-up folks are the sort that terrorist organizations love, because they are steady and reliable.

Except here's the other thing: religious fanatic terrorists who go undercover often practice disinformation -- they don't talk about religion, they drink alcohol, they shave their beards, etc. -- so people don't know an attack is coming. Hasan could barely contain himself. He posted in favor of suicide bombers online, apparently; he told lots of people he was frantic to avoid deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq. And to cap it all off, he had trouble with women. According to the Washington Post, he'd participated in a Muslim matchmaking service at his mosque, but came up a blank because he had "too many conditions." He refused to be photographed with women, which was awkward when the workplace did group photos.

Current news is that it was when Hasan was taken down, it was a woman who shot him. Four times.

I cannot talk about the incident tactically, because reports are *still* all over the place. My best guess at this point is that Hasan is ideologically motivated and went over the tipping point due to emotional imbalance. Local news reporters are saying he was giving furniture and possessions to neighbors, which is a *classic* suicide thing to do, but you don't see it often in guys who are taking orders from higher-ups. So despite similarities to some busted-up terrorist plans, it's looking for now more like Hasan was a terrorist on his own nickel.

Still wondering about the reported other guy/guys, though.

Comments

Posted by: Vvalkyri (vvalkyri)
Posted at: November 6th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)

Re the deployment angle, the reports I was hearing this morning was that he was frantic to avoid deployment given how many people with PTSD he'd been treating stateside.

Prompts some discussion of 'who shrinks the shrink'?

Re proseletize, NPR mentions that he tried to turn a Grand Rounds, of all things, into a "why you should be Muslim, and by the way, infidels should be killed." To the point that one of the other Muslim docs in the room started pointing out during the presentation that 'no, we don't all believe this."

Is bogglesome.
I'm thinking it's going to turn out that he's another one of the folk who snap and for some strange reason think suicide by someone else's gun after trying to take a bunch more people down first is preferable to simply killing oneself.

hrm. Actually that makes some sense. What /is/ Islam's stance on straight-up suicide? Add to it that he thought infidels should be killed, and now he's a martyr en route to heaven.

bleh.
[Edit: As of BBC News last night, official word was
- no other shooters
- Hasan alive, not dead
- Hasan shot by either a female MP or female civilian police - this was unclear]


Edited at 2009-11-06 03:46 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Sara LaKali (sara_lakali)
Posted at: November 6th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)

I'm thinking it's going to turn out that he's another one of the folk who snap and for some strange reason think suicide by someone else's gun after trying to take a bunch more people down first is preferable to simply killing oneself.

I agree. The only reason the media is bringing the word "terrorist" into this at is because he was supposedly a devout Muslim. (Supposedly devout, I mean. I'm not disputing that he's a Muslim.) Take that out of the equation and he's just another garden variety spree shooter.

Posted by: Vvalkyri (vvalkyri)
Posted at: November 6th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)

Found via NYTimes blog on this, http://www.scribd.com/doc/3989813/Martyrdom-in-Islam-Versus-Suicide-Bombing

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: November 7th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
plane

The only reason the media is bringing the word "terrorist" into this at is because he was supposedly a devout Muslim.

Disagreed emphatically. He's got a political/ ideological basis and he's making an act of war. The word "terrorist" came into play when Dr. George Tiller was shot; it was right then and it was right now. Could go with straight up treason, I suppose. There are lots of folks, particularly in the media, trying to sell the "pre-traumatic stress" thing, but NPR's story on him talking up beheadings and freaking out fellow Muslims in the process pretty much seals the deal on "religious fanatic."

(There are suicides who fall into the category of "suicide by cop," but these people typically are not mass shooters. Mass shooters are, in fact, pretty much the other way; a lot of mass shooters who get shot and wounded by police then take *themselves* out. People who shoot lots of other people do so for one of two reasons: 1) they are severely mentally ill or 2) they have a hell of a lot of hate.)

Posted by: Hyacinths (wordswoman)
Posted at: November 6th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)

The reports of other shooters came at a time of maximum confusion; the media still thought the shooter was dead, for example. To a frightened eyewitness, it would be very easy to mistake an armed responder running to or from the scene as an accomplice.

Posted by: A large duck (burger_eater)
Posted at: November 6th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
wagon

Much of these reports, including the comments about suicide bombers, seem to be made of the crap. But considering the nature of the incident, I don't expect an accurate, detailed breakdown of what happened until 2014.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: November 7th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
plane

The Army will certainly put together a detailed report; the question is whether any of us will ever see it.

The suicide bomber comments may or may not be him, as the Army hadn't made a determination. But NPR's report on the depths of his lunacy seem pretty conclusive.

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