Ft. Hood shooter’s jihad emails excluded from court

The very odd trial of Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan has seen the prosecution hamstrung at every turn, while Hasan merrily goes about prosecuting himself, loudly declaring he’s a jihad killer whose only real regret was not shooting a few more American troops before the cops took him down. Every tidbit of news about this trial is positively surreal.

The final indignity came just before the prosecution rested its case today, as ABC News reports the Army judge “limited prosecutors from introducing evidence, including emails to a known Al Qaeda operative, that would establish accused shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan’s ‘jihadi’ motives.”

The judge’s rulings could inhibit the ability of the victims’ families to claim in a civil suit that the shootings were an act of terror. Federal lawyers involved in the civil suit claim that the people shot during Hasan’s murderous rage were victims of workplace violence, a designation that could sharply limit the damages in a civil suit.

“This is first degree mass murder case and motive is absolutely relevant to prove premeditation,” said Neal Sher, a lawyer representing many of the victims and their family members in a separate civil suit against the government.

Prosecutors have sought to portray Hasan as a Muslim extremist, motivated by Islamist ideology and in touch with known al Qaeda member Anwar Alwaki.

“He didn’t want to deploy and he came to believe he had a jihad duty to murder soldiers,” lead prosecutor Col. Steve Henricks said in his opening statements. He wanted to “kill as many soldiers as he could.”

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled today that prosecutors could not mention Hasan’s correspondence with Alwaki, an American born al Qaeda recruiter and organizer. Osborn also barred prosecutors from mentioning Hassan’s interest in seeking conscientious objector status

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