Accused Fort Hood gunman appears to renounce U.S. allegiance ahead of trial

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 01, 2013 11:08 PM
Accused Fort Hood gunman appears to renounce U.S. allegiance ahead of trial

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - Accused Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan released several pages of documents to Fox News on Thursday, days before his court-martial is slated to begin, in which says he wishes to renounce his U.S. citizenship and military oath.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim and U.S. Army major, is charged with opening fire on the Army post in Texas in November 2009, killing 13 soldiers and wounding 32 people.

He is acting as his own attorney in his court-martial, scheduled to begin at the base on August 6. If convicted he could face execution or life in prison without parole.

Fox News said the documents, which it posted online, were furnished to the cable network at Hasan's request by his attorney for civil matters, John Galligan.

The lawyer was quoted by Fox as vouching for the authenticity of the documents and the signature.

In an email reply to Reuters, Galligan verified that the documents delivered to the cable network were from Hasan, but he declined to answer any further questions.

One of the posted declarations, dated October 18, 2012 and written by hand, states that he is "compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend any man made constitution (like the Constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam."

It goes on to say: "I therefore formally renounce my oath of office as well as any other implicit or explicit oaths I have made in the past ... This includes my oath of U.S. citizenship."

Because Hasan, 42, is a native U.S. citizen, born in Arlington, Virginia, he would never have taken an oath of citizenship. And the written declaration posted online has no legal force.

U.S. law requires an individual wishing to renounce American citizenship to appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer in a foreign country and sign an oath of renunciation.

The declarations on Thursday come five days after Hasan issued a separate public pronouncement through Fox News, a six-page statement in which he apologized for having participated in what he called "illegal and immoral aggression" against Muslims by serving in the U.S. military.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Walsh)