By Mike Mount
A military appeals court halted the murder case against Maj. Nidal Hasan indefinitely on Friday to sort out issues surrounding a judge's threat to shave the beard the Army psychiatrist grew while awaiting trial in the 2009 Fort Hood killings.
The court martial was originally stopped on Wednesday and Hassan was fined $1,000 for remaining bearded, which violates Army regulations. The military judge in the case, U.S. Army Col. Gregory Gross, had previously held that Hassan's beard disrupts the court proceedings and held him in contempt of court five times, the Army said in a news release.
Hasan's court-martial had been scheduled to start Monday at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas, where he is accused of killing 13 people and wounding another 32. Gross, had threatened to have him forcibly shaved unless he got rid of the beard on his own.
From Jennifer Rizzo
A military appeals court halted the murder case against Maj. Nidal Hasan on Wednesday over a judge's threat to shave the beard the Army psychiatrist grew while awaiting trial in the 2009 Fort Hood killings.
Hasan's court-martial had been scheduled to start Monday at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas, where he is accused of killing 13 people and wounding another 32. The presiding judge, Col. Gregory Gross, had threatened to have him forcibly shaved unless he got rid of the beard, which is against Army regulations.
Wednesday's order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces now means the trial date is unknown. Gross has until August 22 to respond to the appeals court.
Hasan had been expected to enter a plea during a Wednesday hearing, but the proceedings were halted by the appellate court, . Hasan has previously expressed interest in pleading guilty, but military regulations bar a judge from accepting a guilty plea in a capital case.
Hasan is accused of opening fire at the post's processing center, where soldiers were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq, in November 2009. The stay came the same day he was expected to enter a plea to the charges against him.
By Carol Cratty
An FBI counterterrorism official said Wednesday that the FBI should have interviewed accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan when it learned Hasan was communicating via e-mail with Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
"I believe an interview would have been prudent in this case," said Mark Giuliano, executive assistant director for the FBI's national security branch. But he added he didn't think "political correctness" was the reason Hasan was not interviewed and he said an interview may not have headed off the tragedy in which Hasan allegedly killed 13 and wounded 32 others in November 2009.
Giuliano is the first FBI official to testify before Congress since an independent commission's report was made public on July 19 that examined how the FBI handled information that came up while the agency was investigating al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born cleric who U.S. officials say became a key figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. FULL POST
The military judge who will oversee the trial of the man accused in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre ruled Wednesday that if Maj. Nidal Hasan doesn't shave by the start of jury selection, he will be forcibly shaved.
Col. Gregory Gross has been telling Hasan he must shave, in accordance with Army regulations. Hasan, who is a Muslim, has refused to shave for more than a month, apparently in keeping with Quranic teachings.
During a pretrial hearing Wednesday, Gross ruled Hasan in contempt of court and fined him $1,000. Gross told Hasan that he unless the defendant shaves before the start of his trial, he will be "forcibly shaved," according to Christopher Haug and Tyler Broadway, spokesmen at Fort Hood.
Even though Hasan has been in custody since November 2009 when 13 people were shot and killed at the U.S. Army installation outside Killeen, Texas, he is still in the Army and still draws his pay.
Hasan was left paralyzed from the waist down in the shooting, when police officers exchanged fire with him. He faces a possible death penalty if convicted in the shooting.
By Larry Shaughnessy
One part of the prosecution's case against Maj. Nidal Hasan, the accused Fort Hood, Texas, shooter, is a series of e-mails between the Army psychiatrist and the now dead radical Muslim cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.
An unclassified FBI report released Thursday includes those e-mails.
Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel told the Dallas Morning News shortly after the shooting, "E-mailing a known al-Qaeda sympathizer should have set off alarm bells."
A new report on the FBI's response to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage was released Thursday.
The report casts a critical eye on what signals were missed by the FBI, or just not communicated. Signals that might have prompted a closer look at Major Nidal Hasan.
Inside the 173 page declassified version of the report are hints at what went wrong, CNN's Suzanne Kelly reports.
By Carol Cratty
A review of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage will recommend the FBI make 18 changes in policies and operations, according to a letter by the former FBI director leading the independent review.
The Fort Hood shootings outraged members of Congress when it was learned that the accused shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, had been communicating with Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an Islamic radical.
In a July 3 letter to a member of Congress, Judge William Webster said he would be handing over his report to FBI Director Robert Mueller within 10 days.
Webster said his report will have 18 "formal recommendations for corrective and enhancing measures on matters ranging from FBI policies and operations to information systems infrastructure, review protocols, and training." But he did not provide any specifics in his letter to Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginian Republican.
A newly released photo shows Maj. Nidal Hasan now with a beard. The photo was provided by the Bell County Sheriff's Office in Texas.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 others during a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009.
In the aftermath of the shootings, radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki told Aljazeera.net that he had communicated with Hasan for about a year before the soldier allegedly went on the rampage. Al-Awaki, a leading figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in a U.S. drone strike that targeted him in Yemen in 2011.
A military judge last week postponed a hearing on whether the government should pay for an expert neurologist for Maj. Nidal Hasan, after Hasan appeared in court with a beard, violating military grooming standards, according to a Fort Hood news release.
The chief judge for the Guantanamo Bay military commissions has assigned himself to preside over the trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammad and four other men. Army Col. James Pohl will preside over the arraignment of the five suspected terrorists beginning on May 5.
Mohammad, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi are accused of the "planning and execution of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., resulting in the killing of 2,976 people," a Defense Department statement said. The charges include murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians and civilian objects, hijacking aircraft and terrorism.
If convicted, all five suspects could face the death penalty.
Pohl is already presiding over the trial of Rahim al Nashiri, the only other military commission trial underway at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He's also been involved in the criminal cases stemming from the Abu Ghraib scandal and was the investigating officer in the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the man accused of killing of 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
By Larry Shaughnessy
A judge will consider another delay in the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the military psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.
During a pretrial motion hearing at the base Wednesday the judge, Col. Gregory Gross, said the defense request for the delay will be discussed at a hearing next week, along with a motion regarding three potential defense witnesses.