News

Nidal Hasan to renounce U.S. allegiance ahead of trial

Nidal Hasan to renounce U.S. allegiance ahead of trial

Accused Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan declared his wish to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Photo: Associated Press

DALLAS (Reuters) – Accused Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan declared his wish to renounce his U.S. citizenship and military oath in several pages of documents furnished to Fox News on Thursday, days before his court-martial is slated to begin.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim and U.S. Army major, is charged with opening fire on the Army post in Texas in November 2009, killing 13 people and wounding 32 others.

Two civilian Fort Hood police officers shot Hasan, ending the rampage and leaving the Army psychiatrist paralyzed from the chest down.

His trial was repeatedly delayed over procedural issues, such as whether he should be exempt from military grooming standards and allowed to keep his beard, which Hasan said he wears for religious reasons.

He is acting as his own attorney in his court-martial, scheduled to begin at the base on August 6. If convicted he could face execution or life in prison without parole.

Fox News said the documents, which it posted online, were furnished to the cable network at Hasan’s request by his attorney for civil matters, John Galligan.

In an email reply to Reuters, Galligan verified that the documents delivered to the cable network were from Hasan, but he declined to answer any further questions. (Typed statement: http://r.reuters.com/neg22v)

One of the posted declarations, dated October 18, 2012, and written by hand, states that he is “compelled to renounce any oaths of allegiances that require me to support/defend any man made constitution (like the Constitution of the United States) over the commandments mandated in Islam.” (Handwritten statement: http://r.reuters.com/meg22v)

It goes on to say: “I therefore formally renounce my oath of office as well as any other implicit or explicit oaths I have made in the past … This includes my oath of U.S. citizenship.”

Because Hasan, 42, is a native U.S. citizen, born in Arlington, Virginia, he would never have taken an oath of citizenship. And according to U.S. law, the type of written declaration posted online would have no legal force.

Federal law requires an individual wishing to renounce American citizenship to appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer in a foreign country and sign an oath of renunciation, according to a U.S. State Department website.

The declarations on Thursday come five days after Hasan issued a separate public pronouncement through Fox News, a six-page statement in which he apologized for having participated in what he called “illegal and immoral aggression” against Muslims by serving in the U.S. military.

Hasan said at a pre-trial hearing that he opened fire at Fort Hood to protect Muslims and the Taliban in Afghanistan from U.S. assaults. The base is a major center for soldiers deployed to Afghanistan.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Birdman’ could be the best film of 2014

In this image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, Michael Keaton portrays Riggan in a scene from "Birdman."

You’ve heard the buzz for Michael Keaton's "Birdman." It’s loud and it's merited.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Nike hype video welcomes LeBron back to Cleveland

14-overlay4

The video huddles the whole city as "The King" returns home.

in Entertainment

PHOTOS: 31 adorable pets in Halloween costumes

Bailey Jarrett and her dog Teddy visit a Dallas-area PetSmart store on Oct. 25, 2014, for the company's annual in-store Halloween event. The event took place at all PetSmart locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

This Halloween is going to the dogs... and cats, ferrets, and bunnies.

in Music

Queen, Fleetwood Mac won’t be playing Glastonbury

fleetwoodmac

The two veteran rock acts were strongly rumored to have been booked as the big names for the 2015 festival.

in Entertainment

Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

timcook

Cook wrote a column published on Thursday and said he hopes that his declaration can help others.