Fort Leavenworth, KS, United States (4E) – The Army psychiatrist convicted of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009 is asking the leader of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) to be a citizen of the jihadist group’s caliphate.
Nidal Hasan, 43, made the plea in a hand-written letter addressed to self-proclaimed Islamic State caliph or religious ruler Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to his lawyer, John Galligan.
“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State,” Hasan said in the letter revealed by U.S. media. “It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers.”
Galligan said Thursday that Hasan wrote the letter in the last few weeks.
Hasan is on the military’s death row at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
uring his trial, the Muslim-American raised in Virginia by Palestinian-immigrant parents defended his shooting rampage at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009 by saying he is a mujahedeen or Muslim holy warrior and wanted to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.
The shooting rampage killed soldiers or enlisted men to be deployed to Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are helping the Afghan army fight Taliban insurgents. Another 31 people were injured in the rampage.
Hasan’s wish to become an ISIS citizen comes as ISIS is reportedly recruiting members online. The group has been posting videos on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube inviting Europeans, Americans and Canadians to join them in their battles.
The promotional videos, made appealing through the use of GoPro cameras and drones, promise a safe haven for foreign families and children. They also show the soft side of the jihadist group, which reportedly conducts mass executions and beheadings of non-Muslims and Shiite Muslims in areas they overrun.
The online campaign also features celebrity-like members, such as a German rapper, to entice new members. ISIS also publishes and distributes glossy magazines as part of the recruitment campaign.
An estimated 3,000 Westerners are believed to be members of the group and fighting with them in northern Iraq and northern Syria. Members include Minnesotan rapper Douglas McAuthur McCain, who was among ISIS fighters killed in a battle with rival rebel group in Syria recently.
U.S. officials said a dozen more Minnesotans are among 100 Americans recruited to fight with ISIS.