Fort Hood massacre investigators focus on suspect's internet activity (Another reason to shut down the internet)

Gun ban/confiscation bills are coming up here soon, so this is probably part of the grand scheme. Also, now they're "looking into the gun man's internet activity" to see if they can label them as "domestic terrorist" or what not. Also, the FCC's "Data and telecommunications 'fairness' act" was just recently visited and had a hearing on the house floor a few weeks ago, so this could also have something to do with the shutting down of the "free web".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/08/fort-hood-massacre-inte...

Computers belonging to army major examined as chief of staff warns against anti‑Muslim backlash

Soldiers guarding the entrance to Fort Hood military base yesterday after the massacre in which 13 people were killed. Photograph: LM Otero/AP

Investigations into the shooting spree at Fort Hood military base in Texas that left 13 people dead and 29 wounded are continuing to focus on the internet activities of the alleged shooter in an attempt to understand his motives.

Detectives from the FBI and the US military's internal police force have taken away for forensic examination the computer used by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who is now in a coma having been shot in the gun rampage on Thursday. They have also seized a computer that he often used in a neighbour's house.

They hope that by tracing Hasan's internet activities, including postings and conversations that may have been erased before the killing spree, they can gain some insight into his actions.

Officials speaking anonymously to US media outlets have indicated that though the investigation is continuing, the initial indications are that the shooter acted alone and was not part of any wider terrorist conspiracy.

The New York Times reported that investigators say there is no evidence yet of any contacts between Hasan and foreign handlers in extremist groups.

But internet postings from someone using the name NidalHasan have also come to light which allegedly talk about suicide bombers "whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers". The posts liken the action of Islamist suicide bombers to Japanese kamikazes.

There is also evidence that Hasan purchased a high-powered pistol three weeks ago as well as several high-capacity ammunition rounds that would allow him to continue firing without reloading.

Amid the swirl of interpretation of the events at Fort Hood, senior political and military figures attempted to dampen down talk of any Islamist links for fear of the possible impact on American Muslims.

General George Casey, the army chief of staff, urged people not to get caught up in speculation about Hasan's Islamic background.

He told a television programme that any such speculation could "heighten the backlash" against Muslims inside the military.

The homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, put out a similar message to the Arab world. Speaking in Abu Dhabi, she said "this was an individual who does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith. Obviously, we object to – and do not believe – that anti-Muslim sentiment should emanate from this."

The picture that is building up of Hasan is of a man under numerous stresses and pressures – personal, professional and religious – prior to his deployment to Afghanistan.

As an army psychiatrist, he was also in daily contact through soldier patients with first-hand accounts of the traumas of warfare.

Questions have been asked about why earlier action was not taken within the military to investigate Hasan despite his open and vociferous opposition to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Val Finnell, who studied with Hasan last year at a military university, complained to the authorities after Hasan made frequent political comments during the courses. "He at least should have been confronted about these beliefs, told to cease and desist, and to shape up or ship out," Finnell said.

Many of the 13 victims of the shooting worked in the same medical service as Hasan. They included psychiatrists, physicians and psychologists.

Further details have emerged of how the shooter was brought down by two civilian police officers. Sergeant Kimberly Munley was the first to engage him, and was herself shot in return fire.

Sergeant Mark Todd then arrived on the scene and saw the gunman firing at people as they ran away. Todd shot him and he collapsed beside a telegraph pole on to his back.

Hasan remains in intensive care.

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