JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman said the attack at Fort Hood could have been a terrorist attack.
Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, told Fox News Sunday that reports indicate that alleged shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist of Palestinian descent, was a "self-radicalized, home-grown terrorist."
Lieberman said he would begin a Senate investigation aimed at uncovering Hasan’s motives and asking "whether the Army missed warning signs." He also called on the Pentagon to begin an independent investigation to determine whether "warning signs were missed."
Hasan is a conservative Muslim, not an extremist, said an uncle who lives in the West Bank.
Rafik Hamad, 64, of El-Bireh, near Ramallah, told the Associated Press that his nephew loved America and wanted to serve his country.
Hasan, 39, who allegedly killed 13 people at the Army base in Texas, also reportedly has a brother and grandfather living in the West Bank.
Hamad told the Associated Press that his nephew had been harassed for being a Muslim. His car was vandalized and a bumper sticker that read "Allah is Love" was ripped off. Also, diapers were thrown at his house with the message "this is your head cover" written inside.
Hasan reportedly said in a presentation during a public health course for his master’s degree during the past school year that he was against U.S. wars in Muslim countries. His presentation also justified suicide bombings, the AP reported.
Hasan was born in the United States to Palestinian parents living in Virginia. They are both dead. Another brother also lives in Virginia.
Several solders reported that he shouted Allahu Akbar (Arabic for "God is great") before opening fire in a medical clinic at Fort Hood on Nov. 5. He was hit four times by a civilian police officer. On Sunday he was removed from a respirator at a San Antonio hospital but still had not spoken.
Britain’s Sunday Telegraph reported that Hasan prayed at the same mosque in Virginia in 2001 as two of the 9/11 terrorists.