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Hasan Charged With 13 Counts of Murder

BY Online DA  November 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM EST

Fort Hood soldiers salute during a memorial service in Killeen ,Texas/ Getty Images

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is facing 13 preliminary charges in a military court of premeditated murder for a shooting rampage at Fort Hood Army Base last week that left 13 people dead and dozens more wounded.

The charges were formally announced during a press conference at Fort Hood, which is one of the largest military installations in the world.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Christopher Grey said at a news conference that additional charges may also be filed against Hasan. “We have a duty and obligation to protect the constitutional rights of everyone involved,” Grey said.

Grey said the murder charges were “the first step in the court martial process” and emphasized that a multi-agency investigation of the Nov. 5 shooting continues, the Washington Post reported.

Speculation remains as to whether Hasan could also face terrorism charges. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that investigators are proceeding as though “the alleged gunman acted alone and was not part of a broader terrorist plot,” according to CNN.

New reports emerged Thursday about Hasan’s mental state, which was allegedly questioned by military officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center long before Hasan was ever sent to Fort Hood to serve as a psychiatrist.

National Public Radio reported that starting in the spring of 2008, key officials at Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences held meetings and conversations about Hasan, whose behavior had grown increasingly erratic and unpredictable.

“Put it this way,” said one official to NPR, “everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole.”

Eventually the conversation turned to Hasan’s mental state and authorities began to wonder if he was “psychotic.”

No action was taken, however, in part because of the lengthy bureaucratic process involved with expelling doctors and also because military officials wanted to avoid the appearance of anti-Muslim prejudice, according to NPR. He was eventually shipped to Killeen, Texas.

Hasan, who survived multiple gunshot wounds at the scene of the attack, remains heavily sedated in a San Antonio hospital and is only speaking staffers, family and his attorney, retired Army Col. John Calligan.

Questions have surfaced in the days since the shooting as to whether intelligence on Hasan was properly shared among different agencies.

On Thursday, President Obama ordered a review of all intelligence related to Hasan, and whether the information was properly shared and acted upon within government agencies.

The review will be overseen by John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. The first results are due to the White House by Nov. 30.

On Tuesday’s NewsHour, reporters from the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times assessed the investigation and the intelligence trail in the Hasan case: