Fort Hood Soldiers Killed and Wounded By Hasan to Get Purple Hearts

The Army has approved the award of the Purple Heart and its civilian counterpart to the victims of Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in the shootings that had been treated as an incident of "workplace violence" rather than a terrorist act.

Hasan, who was convicted in 2013 of 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder, has admitted to being influenced by the late Anwar Awlaki, chief propagandist for the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist group. A major at the time of the shooting, Hasan was stripped of his rank and dismissed from the Army after his conviction.

The Army had denied the Purple Heart awards and the benefits that go with them, but Congress passed an amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act last year clearing the way for the award of the Purple Heart to soldiers killed and wounded by Hasan and the Defense of Freedom Medal to the civilians.

The amendment changed the rule to allow for an event to be deemed an attack by a "foreign terrorist organization" if the perpetrator "was in communication with the foreign terrorist organization before the attack" and "the attack was inspired or motivated by the foreign terrorist organization."

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