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Army valued diversity in Fort Hood suspect

Army valued diversity in Fort Hood suspect
Alleged Fort Hood, Tex., shooter Nidal Malik Hasan is shown in a 2007 file photo from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army may have ignored warnings about alleged shooter Nidal Malik Hasan because of reluctance to lose a Muslim mental health expert, a report said.

Hasan, a 39-year-old Army psychiatrist, allegedly opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 32 others on Nov. 5. If convicted of murder charges, he could face the death penalty.

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Army superiors were warned about his radicalization years before the shooting. However, they may not have acted to revoke his security clearance or expel him from the military because they valued the rare diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

The Army had attracted just one Muslim psychiatrist in addition to Hasan since 2001.

"It is possible some (military officials) were afraid" of losing such diversity "and thus were willing to overlook Hasan's deficiencies as an officer," said a previously undisclosed Army report reviewed by the Globe.

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