Witnesses: Major Yelled 'Allahu Akbar' Before Firing

Family says he is devout, not extremist
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2009 9:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Witnesses to the Fort Hood rampage say gunman Nidal Malik Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar"—Arabic for "God is Great"—as he opened fire. The Army hasn't confirmed the callout during the "calm and measured" shooting spree that killed 13. Hasan is a devout Muslim, but family members and acquaintances say he didn't hold extremist views—only that he was "mortified" about being deployed to Afghanistan and wanted out of the Army.

Military officials have not been able to talk to Hasan, who was shot four times himself and is on a ventilator. Authorities continue to investigate whether he authored Internet posts glorifying suicide bombers, and police raided his house today to seize his computer and look for other clues. The Army psychiatrist reportedly took aim at military personnel in the Fort Hood building and warned civilians to get out of the way, reports the New York Post.