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Tipsheet

Judge Sanitizes Jihad Motive By Blocking Evidence in Nidal Hasan Trial

It was a slap in the face when the Obama administration classified the Ft. Hood shooting as simple "work place violence" after Major Nidal Hassan screamed Allahu Akbar and slaughtered 13 fellow soldiers and wounded more than 30 others. Now, the judge in the case
has blocked evidence showing Hassan's motive: Jihad.

A military judge blocked several key pieces of evidence Monday that prosecutors said would explain the mindset of the soldier accused in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, including his belief that he had a "jihad duty" to carry out the attack.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to approve several witnesses and various evidence to support what they allege motivated Maj. Nidal Hasan to carry out the attack, which killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Texas military base.

But the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, blocked nearly all of it.

So why was evidence blocked? Prosecutors wanted to argue Hassan carried out a copy cat attack, and the judge thought that might make things in the court room too confusing.

Osborn barred any reference Hasan Akbar, a Muslim soldier sentenced to death for attacking fellow soldiers in Kuwait during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prosecutors wanted to suggest that Hasan, an American-born Muslim, carried out a "copycat" attack.

But the judge said introducing such material would "only open the door to a mini-trial" of Akbar and result in a "confusion of issues, unfair prejudice, waste of time and undue delay."

The judge said prosecutors also couldn't introduce three emails, ruling that the needed redactions would make them irrelevant. The contents of the emails weren't disclosed, but the FBI has said Hasan sent numerous emails starting in December 2008 to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born Islamic cleric killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Fine, but this idea that Hassan wasn't engaged in Jihad and that his motive doesn't matter is ludicrous. Hasan has admitted his goal for the attack was to protect his Muslim brothers in Afghanistan from U.S. soldiers who would be deployed there to fight them (or in other words, to protect the Taliban and al Qaeda). Between that admission, being in contact with al-Awlaki and screaming Allahu Akbar before the attack, it's clear what Hassan's motive was and should be considered as his trial continues.

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