Convicted Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan has written a letter of warning to Pope Francis espousing “jihad” and referring to himself as SoA, or “Soldier of Allah.”
Hasan gave the six-page, hand-written letter to his attorney John Galligan, instructing him to mail it to the pope. The letter is titled, “A Warning to Pope Francis, Members of the Vatican, and Other Religious Leaders around the World.”
In 2009, Hasan walked into a Fort Hood medical installation carrying two guns and several magazines of ammunition.
He shouted, “Allahu Akbar!”–Arabic for “God is great!”–and fired on dozens of soldiers awaiting medical tests and vaccines.
The Defense Department refused to recognize the 2009 massacre as an act of terror, labeling it, instead, as “workplace violence.” Nonetheless, it was called an “act of terror” in a 2011 Senate report, and it has an official ID number in the Global Terrorism Database.
Major Hasan was prosecuted by the Army on murder charges, not terrorism-related charges.
Throughout Hasan’s trial at Fort Hood, “terrorism” was never uttered in the presence of the military jury, neither by prosecutors nor by the more than 100 witnesses called by the prosecution. The Army’s lead prosecutor called it “the t-word.”
In his letter to the Pope, however, Hasan praised “the willingness to fight for All-Mighty Allah,” in a section of the letter titled “Jihad.” He declared that fighters “have a greater rank in the eyes of Allah than believers who don’t fight.”
The letter comes a little over a month after it was reported that Hasan had also written to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, pledging his allegiance to ISIS, saying it would be “an honor” to join the Caliphate and requesting to be made a “citizen” of the Islamic State.
When asked to comment on the latest letter, Hasan’s attorney told Fox News that it “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.
Neal Sher, an attorney representing the Fort Hood families and their relatives, also said Hasan is “thoroughly dedicated to jihad.”
“His jihadist leanings and willingness to commit jihad were known for years before the 2009 atrocity,” Sher said. “And ever since then, he has made it abundantly clear he believes in jihad and has attempted to justify the slaughter that took place at Fort Hood.”
Sher likened the government’s denial of terror to “putting its head in the sand. They do not want to acknowledge a terrorist attack took place on their watch on American soil. And layered over that is a good dose of political correctness.”
Representative John Carter, a Texas congressman (R), said that he was “embarrassed” that the Fort Hood massacre had been ruled a workplace violence issue. “I still am embarrassed by that,” he said. Carter is a sponsor of a bill that designates the 2009 shooting an act of terrorism and makes the victims and their families eligible for combat-related benefits.
Earlier this year, FBI Director James Comey testified that he believed the shooting carried out by Hasan at Fort Hood was inspired by al-Qaeda.