The suspected Fort Hood terrorist served as a lay Muslim leader running Islamic services on the base in the absence of the Muslim chaplain, WND has learned. He also mentored at least one young convert to Islam whose parents worked at the sprawling Texas post.
Hasan's religious activities raise the specter that others may have been radicalized, investigators worry. There are nearly 50 Muslim soldiers serving on the base.
Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly shot 46 fellow soldiers and security guards and murdered 13 in the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11.
Witnesses say the devout Muslim officer jumped up on a desk and shouted, "Allahu akbar!" – Allah is greatest – before opening fire and spraying more than 100 bullets inside a crowded building where troops were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.
"He was preparing for a martyrdom operation," a U.S. Army intelligence official said. "There is no evidence that this was an issue of an emotional aberration. It was well planned."
Not long after Hasan transferred to the base earlier this year, he sat down with Muslim chaplain Maj. Khalid Shabazz to discuss carrying out Shabazz's "vision" at the Fort Hood chapel when Shabazz was away. Shabazz helped lead Islamic services at the base's Ironhorse Chapel, which serves 48 Muslim soldiers.
"I found him to be very pleasant," Shabazz said of Hasan.
Shabazz, who recently left the base, met privately with Hasan several times.
Before his posting at Fort Hood, Shabazz ministered to Muslim inmates at the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was known as a "sympathizer" among military police. Shabazz scolded MPs for making noise while al-Qaida detainees were praying.
"I would have to go down and chastise those guys," he recalled in a 2008 interview with NPR, "telling them, 'Hey man, those guys are praying. Have the decency not to play the national anthem and agitate them while they're praying.'"
The NPR interview was posted last year on the website of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which the FBI says is a front group for Hamas terrorists. (Following CAIR's blacklisting by the Justice Department as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, the FBI last year cut off formal ties to the group.)
Shabazz, who says it's tough trying to be a good Muslim and a good U.S. soldier, serves as a member of a chaplaincy steering committee for the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA.
Federal prosecutors recently named ISNA – a sister organization to CAIR – as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator in the largest terror finance case in U.S. history. ISNA, they say, like CAIR is a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, parent of Hamas and al-Qaida.
The Brotherhood, which supports violent jihad and Islamic rule, is the subject of the bestselling new book, "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America."
Federal investigators are looking into Hasan's use of his neighbor's computer, and a visitor he had the day before the Fort Hood attack. Reports say Hasan was "mentoring" on Islam that Muslims shouldn't be in the U.S. military, because Muslims shouldn't kill Muslims.
Hasan counseled on more than a dozen occasions recent Islamic convert Duane Reasoner, an 18-year-old whose parents worked on the base.
"He said he didn't want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan," said Reasoner, who was raised a Catholic. "He didn't want to be deployed. He said Muslims shouldn't be in the U.S. military, because obviously Muslims shouldn't kill Muslims."
Reasoner added: "In the Quran, you're not supposed to have alliances with Jews or Christians or others, and if you are killed in the military fighting against Muslims, you will go to hell."
An Army chaplain interviewed by McClatchy Newspapers on the condition of anonymity confirmed that there are other Muslim soldiers who are conflicted about honoring their duty while fighting other Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hasan told colleagues, "I'm a Muslim first and an American second." He clearly put the Islamic nation above the secular nation he took an oath to protect and defend.
He's not alone. At least a dozen other Muslim soldiers have been convicted of terrorism or espionage since 9/11. (List follows)