Nidal Hasan, the former Army psychiatrist convicted of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009, has written a letter asking to become a "citizen" of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Fox News reported Friday.
The network obtained a copy of the two-page, undated letter, which is addressed to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In it, Hasan writes: "I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State ... It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don't compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers."
Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim, signed the letter with his name and the abbreviation "SoA," or "Soldier of Allah" — the same identification he used on business cards he made before the shooting.
Hasan's attorney, John Galligan, told Fox News that the letter "'underscores how much of his life, actions and mental thought process are driven by religious zeal. And it also reinforces my belief that the military judge committed reversible error by prohibiting Major Hasan from both testifying and arguing … how his religious beliefs motivated his actions during the shooting."
Hasan is imprisoned at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., under a sentence of death for the Nov. 5, 2009, massacre, which occurred as he was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. His letter is likely to fuel the controversy over whether the shootings were motivated by Islamist extremism.
A February 2011 report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee examining the massacre described Hasan as "a ticking time bomb," and faulted both the Army and the FBI for not noticing his growing extremism and taking action in time to prevent it.