At Fort Hood, a Community Troubled by Missed Clues
Hasan left trail of descent toward violence
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2009 7:33 AM CST
Apartment manager Alice Thompson looks out the doorway of Nidal Hasan's apartment in Killeen, Texas, Nov. 11, 2009. Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens more at Fort Hood.   (AP Photo/ Jerry Larson)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – In retrospect, there were plenty of hints: On the morning of Nov. 5, Nidal Hasan gave away his groceries to one neighbor; left a phone message for another, saying, "Nice knowing you, friend"; and told another that Muslims will "do anything to be closer to God." He told a stranger at a 7-11, "There's going to be big action on post around 1:30." In the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting, which began at 1:34pm, those who knew Nidal Hasan wonder why they didn't heed this trail of clues.

Hints about Hasan's slide into instability go back at least to a 2007 class presentation in which he spoke about the heroism of suicide bombers. Lonely after the death of his mother, he was also frustrated in his search for a wife, the Washington Post reports in a lengthy piece based on interviews with 100 people. The stories told by those who knew him show the difficulty of telling the difference between "pious and fanatical," "lonely and isolated," and "eccentric and crazy."