Was the Ft. Hood massacre an act of terrorism? For two reasons, I find this an unproductive question. First, terrorism has, in one count, 109 definitions, making this a question more suited to mulling over in a university seminar than to public policy. Second, an attack on soldiers is by definition not terrorism. Better to ask, then: Was this an act of jihad, that is, an attack intended to help Muslims vanquish infidels so as to impose Islamic law on them?
The New York Daily News captured Hasan's personality in one line: "a soldier who didn't want to go to war, a man of God who defended murder and a doctor who shot up the soldiers he was supposed to heal." Or this little gem from the Associated Press: "He required counseling as a medical student because of problems with patients."
Hasan is not some street hoodlum like Hasan Karim Akbar but a Ph.D. in psychology who had a role advising in a task force presenting homeland security options to the new administration in January 2009.
If Hasan merely wanted to get out of being deployed in Afghanistan, he could have shot his toe, not gone on a rampage killing 14 people. (November 6, 2009)