Victims want Fort Hood shooting deemed terror act

2:07 AM, Oct 19, 2012   |    comments
First responders use a table as a stretcher to transport a wounded soldier during mass shooting, Fort Hood, Texas
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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Many of the wounded soldiers and families of those killed in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage say they lack necessary benefits because the government hasn't declared it a terrorist attack.

A group of about 160 people affected by the shooting on the Texas Army post released a video Thursday expressing their frustration.

They say soldiers injured or killed deserve fair benefits and Purple Heart eligibility.

But they say that won't happen until the shooting is declared a terrorist attack.

Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times that day, says he's upset that the Defense Department has referred to the shooting as workplace violence.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, an American-born Muslim, faces the death penalty if convicted in the rampage that killed 13.

The DOD didn't immediately return calls.

Meanwhile, an Army appeals court has ruled that the Fort Hood shooting suspect can have his facial hair forcibly shaved off before his murder trial.

The U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals' opinion issued Thursday upheld the military trial judge's decision to order Maj. Nidal Hasan to appear in court clean shaven or be forcibly shaved.

It also ruled that Col. Gregory Gross, the judge, properly found that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn't give Hasan the right to have a beard while in uniform at trial.

Hasan has said the beard is an expression of his Muslim faith. His attorneys say they'll appeal the ruling.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post that killed 13.

Associated Press

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