Ft. Hood Witnesses to Revisit Attack in Court

Hasan was a homegrown, "lone-wolf" style terrorist - but he did not become a radicalized in a vacuum. The FBI discovered multiple, direct communications between Hasan and the Yemeni cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki. The domestic spy agency was later slammed in a Senate report - along with the Army itself - for failing to detect the threat lurking in the Army's own quarters. Hasan will be tried in a military court and face the death penalty if convicted, the commanding general for the Texas military post announced in July 2011. AP Photo

Witnesses to a gunman's rampage at a military base will begin describing the attack for a military officer Tuesday, providing new details about the scene that unfolded nearly a year ago in a processing center where soldiers were making final preparations to deploy.

The Article 32 hearing involving Maj. Nidal Hasan is expected to last at least three weeks and will determine whether there is enough evidence to put the Army psychiatrist on trial. Such hearings are unique to military court, where prosecutors and the defense can call witnesses, and both sides are able to question them and present other evidence.

Hasan, 40, is charged with premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 attack, which killed 13 people and wounded 32 others at Fort Hood. It was the worst mass shooting at an American military base and had raised fears of a homegrown terror plot.

The rampage lasted only about 10 minutes, until two Fort Hood police officers shot and wounded Hasan, who is now paralyzed. He remains in custody.

When the proceeding begins, Hasan will be sitting just a few feet from the witnesses.

Col. James L. Pohl, a military judge acting as the investigating officer in the case, has said he wants to hear from all 32 injured victims but did not say why. Prosecutors usually ask only a few key witnesses to testify at such hearings. Authorities have not said whether they will seek the death penalty if the case goes to trial.

About 300 people were in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center when a gunman jumped up on a desk, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great!" — and opened fire. Some described hiding under desks or pulling wounded soldiers out the door as the gunman fired two pistols, one a semiautomatic.

Among those expected to testify was Sgt. Kimberly Munley, who was shot in the hand and leg as she and another Fort Hood police officer engaged in a firefight with Hasan, wounding him.
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