Fort Hood shooting rampage survivors, victims’ relatives want it declared terrorist attack

FORT HOOD, Texas — Nearly three years after the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, many of those affected are urging the government to declare it a terrorist attack, saying wounded soldiers and victims’ relatives otherwise won’t receive the same benefits as those in a combat zone.

About 160 people, including relatives of the 13 people killed at the Texas Army post and some of the more than two dozen wounded and their families, released a video Thursday expressing their frustration.

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

“The victims are being forgotten and it’s frustrating,” Kimberly Munley, one of the first two officers who arrived at the shooting scene on Nov. 5, 2009, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, an American-born Muslim, faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. The case is on hold as his lawyers fight the trial judge’s order that Hasan either shave his beard, which violates Army rules, or be forcibly shaved before trial.

U.S. officials have said they believe Hasan’s attack was inspired by the radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and that Hasan and the cleric exchanged as many as 20 emails. Al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last fall.