FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — An Army psychiatrist who authorities say went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood was so conflicted over what to tell fellow soldiers about fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan that a local Islamic leader said Saturday he was deeply troubled by it.
Osman Danquah, co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, said he was disturbed by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's persistent questioning and recommended the mosque reject Hasan's request to become a lay Muslim leader at the sprawling Army post.
Danquah said Hasan never expressed anger toward the Army or indicated any plans for violence, but during the second of two conversations they had over the summer, Hasan seemed almost incoherent, he said.
“But what if a person gets in and feels that it's just not right?” Danquah recalled Hasan asking him.
“I told him, 'There's something wrong with you,'” Danquah told The Associated Press during an interview at Fort Hood on Saturday. “I didn't get the feeling he was talking for himself, but something just didn't seem right.”
Authorities accuse Hasan of firing more than 100 rounds Thursday in a soldier processing center at Fort Hood, killing 13 and wounding 29 others in the worst mass shooting on a military facility in the U.S. At the start of the attack, Hasan reportedly jumped up on a desk and shouted “Allahu akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” Hasan, 39, was seriously wounded by police and is being treated in a military hospital.
The military has said Hasan was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, but family members suggested he was trying avoid serving overseas.
Hasan's relatives who live in the Palestinian territories have said they had heard from family members that Hasan felt mistreated in the Army as a Muslim.
The Army major also had previously questioned the U.S. war on terror.
A former classmate has said Hasan was a “vociferous opponent of the war” and “viewed the war against terror” as a “war against Islam.” Dr. Val Finnell, who attended a master's in public health program in 2007-2008 at Uniformed Services University with Hasan, said he told classmates he was “a Muslim first and an American second.”
Associated Press Writers Dalia Nammari in Ramallah, West Bank, and Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.