Classmate: Hasan said terror fight a war on Islam

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2009 6:36 PM

A classmate of the Fort Hood shooting suspect says Maj. Nidal Hasan was an outspoken opponent of the U.S. war on terror and called it a "war against Islam."

Dr. Val Finnell was a classmate of Hasan's at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. Both attended a master's in public health program in 2007 and 2008.

Finnell says he got to know Hasan in an environmental health class. At the end of the class, students gave presentations. Finnell says other classmates wrote on subjects such as dry cleaning chemicals and mold in homes, but Hasan's topic was whether the war against terror was "a war against Islam." Finnell described Hasan as a "vociferous opponent" of the terror war.

Finnell says Hasan told classmates he was "a Muslim first and an American second."