Hasan Charged With 13 Counts of Murder

Updated at 2:03 p.m. EST

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan, suspected in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and could face the death penalty is convicted, according to an officials.

Additional charges are possible as the investigation into the mass shooting continues, said Chris Grey, the spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigation Division.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama of all intelligence related to Hasan, and whether the information was properly shared and acted upon within government agencies.

Authorities say Hasan walked into an on-base medical facility last Thursday and opened fire on dozens of unsuspecting fellow soldiers with a semi-automatic handgun. Thirteen people died and 29 more were wounded. Hasan, who will be tried in a military court, is believed to have acted alone in the attack, Grey said.

Special Section: Tragedy at Fort Hood

Officials familiar with the case told the Associated Press it is still possible to charge Hasan with a 14th count of murder related to the death of the unborn child of a pregnant shooting victim.

John Galligan, Hasan's civilian attorney, said his military co-counsel told him that charges were being read to Hasan in the hospital without his lawyers present.

"I don't like it. I feel like I'm being left out of the loop," Galligan said. "I guess it's 13 charges, but I don't like to have to guess in this situation."

Months before last week's shootings, doctors and staff overseeing Hasan's training reported viewing him at times as belligerent, defensive and argumentative in his frequent discussions of his Muslim faith, according to a military official familiar with several group discussions about Hasan. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the meetings and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hasan was characterized in meetings as a mediocre student and lazy worker, a matter of concern among the doctors and staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a military medical school in Bethesda, Maryland, the official said.

The were shared with other military officials considering his assignment after he finished his medical training, and the consensus was to send the 39-year-old psychiatrist to Fort Hood in Texas, the official said.

One of the largest military installations, it was considered the best assignment for Hasan because other doctors could handle the workload if he continued to perform poorly and his superiors could document any continued behavior problems, the official said.

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Hasan repeatedly referred to his strong religious views in discussions with classmates, his superiors and even in his research work, the official said. His behavior, while at times perceived as intense and combative, was not unlike the zeal of others with strong religious views. But some doctors and staff were concerned that their unfamiliarity with the Muslim faith would lead them to unfairly single out Hasan's behavior, the official said.

Some in the group questioned Hasan's sympathies as an Army psychiatrist, whether he would be more aligned with Muslims fighting U.S. troops. There also was some concern about whether he should continue to serve in the military, the official said.

At one point, Hasan's supervisors ordered him to attend a university lecture series on Islam, the Middle East and terrorism, hoping to steer him toward productive work addressing potential concerns of Muslims in the military, according to The Washington Post. Hasan attended the lectures late last year or early this year, The Post reported Thursday, quoting a Walter Reed staff member who spoke anonymously because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

A joint terrorism task force overseen by the FBI learned late last year of Hasan's repeated contact with a radical Muslim cleric who encouraged Muslims to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. The FBI said in a statement late Wednesday that the task force did not refer early information about Hasan to superiors because it concluded he wasn't linked to terrorism.

The doctors and staff who discussed concerns about Hasan had several group conversations about him that started in early 2008 during regular monthly meetings and ended as he was finishing a fellowship in disaster and preventive psychology this summer, the official familiar with the discussions said.

They saw no signs of mental problems, no risk factors that would predict violent behavior. And the group discussed other factors that suggested Hasan would continue to thrive in the military, factors that mitigated their concerns, the official said.

According to the official, records reviewed by Hasan's superiors described nearly 20 years of military service, including nearly eight years as an enlisted soldier; completion of three rigorous medical school programs, albeit as a student the group characterized in their discussions as mediocre; his resilience after the deaths of his parents early in his medical education, and an otherwise polite and gentle nature when not discussing religion.

Citing the investigation and the Privacy Act, the Army and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences have released only minimal details of Hasan's career. He entered the Army in 1997 as a 2nd lieutenant and started the medical school program, according to a service spokesman in Washington.

But school records from Barstow Community College in Barstow, California, where Hasan was a student from 1989 to 1990, show his military service began much earlier. Maureen Stokes, a spokeswoman for the college, said the records indicate he was a private first class with an infantry unit at Fort Irwin, California. Hasan received 10 credits for his military experience, she said.
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