Authorities have identified the Fort Hood killer as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist (and apparently a convert to Islam). Two other soldiers that were arrested on the scene have been released, so it may have been a case of a lone gunman rather than an organized terror plot.
If so, the attack sounds similar to that of Sergeant Asan Akbar, the 101st Airborne trooper and AfricanAmerican convert to Islam who killed or wounded 16 American soldiers when he threw a grenade into a tent at a base in Iraq. Akbar may have been motivated by resentment of perceived mistreatment by fellow soldiers, and by the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Hasan was shot dead, so we may never know exactly why he killed his fellow soldiers, or why a man who was supposed to be a healer of sick minds himself became a sick killer. Regardless of whether Hasan was motivated by Islamic fervor or some purely personal demon, but this incident won’t make life any easier for Muslim soldiers in a U.S. military that has become increasingly Christian fundamentalist.