The case of Major Nidal Hassan (Cyber Warfare)

Major nidal hassan

On 5th November 2009, Nidal Hasan, a serving US Army Major stormed into Fort Hood, Texas army base and gunned down 13 of his colleagues and left 32 injured.

Major Hasan was born in Virginia to Palestinian parents who immigrated to the U.S. from the West Bank. He joined the US Army straight after High School as a soldier and attended college along with his service.

He was selected for medical school for his further studies in psychiatry. After that, he attained the rank of Major in the US Army Medical Corps as a Psychiatrist.

Hasan was indoctrinated and deeply influenced by Anwar al Awlaki, a fundamentalist spiritual leader who motivated and guided him. Moreover he helped him overcome moral compunctions he might have had to slaughter innocent people.

Interestingly this radicalization took place over the internet over blogs and emails which finally made him commit this heinous act.

The biggest irony, that he being a psychiatrist failed to guard his mind. Above all, other psychiatrists working with him every day failed to notice how deeply disturbed someone right in their midst was.

Before the shootings, he was to be deployed to Afghanistan. Later investigations found out, Hasan told a local store owner that he was stressed about his imminent deployment to Afghanistan since he might have to fight or kill fellow Muslims. As a result he was deeply upset with him being posted to Afghanistan.

It is a matter of concern that mere emails sent from thousands of kilometers away in Yemen were used to promote terror activities.

It exposes that terrorists are now well aware of the know-how of the internet. Subsequently, they use it to communicate, collaborate, recce and coordinate terrorist activities.

The internet allows them the opportunity to transfer funds easily, spread venom and hatred easily and well as steal top-secret data.

The case of Maj Hasan is an indication that the grounds of battle have changed. Certainly, now is the era of cyber warfare.

In addition, looking at the psyche of Maj Hasan it is important for Armies to ensure the mental well being of soldiers.

Article Submitted By:
Havi Joshi