Is the Ft. Hood shooter a terrorist?

Are the actions of Major Hasan terrorism? Why or why not?

The US marine who beat up the Greek Orthodox Priest because he looked like a Muslim was a terrorists. I don’t know about the Fort Hood shooter.

Not agreeing or disagreeing, but why is the Marine a terrorist?

I kept the OP broad to get replies like yours. So that’s good, but why do you consider one a terrorist, and not the other.

Main Entry: ter·ror·ism
Function: noun
Date: 1795
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

I don’t really see how the crime of terror applies to a lone suicidal shooter, since what could he have been trying to coerce? On the other hand, a school yard bully threatening injury if they don’t get lunch money could be considered a terrorist.
A war on terrorism makes as much sense as a war on drugs or a war on pickpocketing. They are all crimes that can never be defeated and it only takes one person to start it up again.

I actually don’t think so. To me, terrorism involves the intentional targeting of civilians; since this was a military base, I don’t think “Terrorism” is apt. I lean toward either

  1. Nut job
  2. Guerilla jihadist

or, most likely

  1. both.

OTOH, I do think he’s also a traitor and should be charged with treason.

What if it comes to light that he was dissatisfied with the US war/presence in Afghanistan and he was trying to influence the United States to pull out.

According to that definition, a school yard bully would definitely be a terrorist, which is silly. On the other hand, there are other definitions of terrorism in which a school yard bully would not be because they require the person’s actions to influence the Government.

Surely there are people who can justifiably be terrorists, but how do you define them to not let in school yard bullys, or not keep out people who may be actual terrorist’s. I’m sure some lobbyist’s might be considered a terrorist under the “influence Gov’t by coercion” definition.

Unless he actively gave aid and comfort to the enemy, it isn’t treason. He would have to have actually worked with or aided a group like Al Qaeda to make it treason. I don’t see any evidence of that, yet.

Terrorism has a legal definition in the US. So far none of the charges brought against Hasan have met that definition. Sure we can go with the a random dictionaries definition and many crimes committed in the US would also be terrorism.

I feel only crimes that can be charged as terrorism should be described by reputable news sources and the populace in general as terrorism.

If he falls within someones definition of ‘terrorist’ it’s surely in the Timothy McVeigh sense, not the al-Queda sense. Not that it makes any sense to me.

There is no evidence that he was anything other than an individual nutjob.

Yes Dio, that’s the common meme, but how does being an individual or a nutjob not mean he was a terrorist?

It’s too soon to tell. The difference would be that terrorists are driven by ideology.

Was he driven by ideology or did he just snap. Just because he shouted Allah doesn’t mean it was the driving force behind his criminal actions.

You’re right in that there’s no firm evidence per se; I haven’t followed the story super close, but from what I’ve read it appears that there was some contact, or at least an attempt at it. Even if it was just an email exchange, in my book if he was acting at their behest or with their encouragement, that’s an indication that he was throwing his lot in with them.

Of course, as I said, he might also be nuts, and I suppose there can be an insanity defense to treason. But if you email the enemy seeking their guidance, and then, acting on their behalf, attack a military base, I don’t see how that isn’t treason.

“Terrorism” implies some kind of concerted act of political violence – a conspiracy by a group, not just a lone nutjob.

Plus “terrorism” is supposd to imply violence against civilians. This was an attack on a military installation.

I would disagree that al Qaeda is an “enemy.” It’s not a country or anything, just a conglomorate of freelance guerilla cells.

Why is it so important to some people to label this guy a “terrorist?”

Can’t he just be a prick who needs a fast conviction and a slow execution?

Well Faux news seems to be pushing the label pretty hard I’d assume its so they can say how a terrorist attack happened on American soil during Obama’s presidency.

I suppose the left wing people could be pushing that he be labeled a terrorist so they can claim to successfully capture and prosecute a terrorists.

To me it’s political bs either way. The law clearly defines terrorism. If they thought he was a terrorist or could convict him of being one they would.

Instead we have news agencies that don’t have interest in informing people of the facts and in turn end up with a populace that doesn’t understand the laws of our country. Calling him a terrorist makes better headlines and creates a political issue where there wasn’t one.

Why does something have to be “a country or [something]” to be an enemy? From Merriam -Webster:

No mention anywhere of needing to be a country or similar. Al Qaeda would seem to fit all three definitions.

My first thought was that the Army will try to spin the story to play up a terrorism angle as a way to deflect blame from the Army for not identifying Dr. Hasan as potentially hostile, potentially unstable, and, at the very least, an unsuitable mental health professional to be treating soldiers in a combat situation.

A few people have stated that there is a legal definition of “terrorism.” Here is what I was able to find, but I welcome correction or additional input if I have this wrong. “domestic terrorism” definition.

This definition is really broad, and I notice that it does not require that the act is conducted as a conspiracy in a group, i.e., the definition would encompass acts by so-called lone wolf terrorists.

Whether or not a terrorist act can be committed by an individual, I would definitely want more information before beginning to even speculate as to whether Dr. Hasan’s acts constituted terrorism. What can be determined about Dr. Hasan’s mental state during the shooting, e.g., did he suffer a psychotic break? What evidence of premeditation exists (if any)? What was the intent behind his actions in killing? Did he have contact with any groups in connection with planning or carrying out the murders?

Lots of good replies, lots of different views on what it means to commit terrorism. There is no accepted universal defintion, but for the record here’s how current US law defines terrorism occuring on US soil: 18 USC 2331

the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping
; and
© occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Assuming it’s read as Domestic Terrorist = A + B(i) or B(ii) or B(iii), + C; then (i) is most likely out. We don’t know enough to say whether it could be (ii) or (iii). It very well could be, though.

Also, I don’t think it necessarily implies that because he wasn’t charged with terrorism to mean he could not be. It’s a slamdunk murder charge, why bother.

(Slight hijack, if the courts-martial gives him death, the President has to personally sign off on it or you’ll never actually be put to death; No President has signed off on a soldiers death since the 1960’s, even though there have been soldiers sentenced to death by a courts-martial. Assuming he is in fact injected, why him and not the others?)

Personally, I think there needs to be a civilian element to terrorism. There wasn’t here (was there any civilians on base? or does it only matter whether he personally intended to intimidate or coerce them, ie, through shock value), so no way is he a terrorist no matter what his motives.