An NBC 5 Investigation has received national attention after revealing the accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, has received nearly $280,000 in military pay since the 2009 attack that left 13 dead and 32 injured.
Meanwhile, victims of the shooting are still fighting for the same military pay and benefits as soldiers wounded at military bases overseas, and in the 9-11 attack on the pentagon.
“To think that they're paying him - they're paying a terrorist. That's crazy. And yet these poor families are having a very difficult time making it,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), reacting to the NBC 5 Investigates report that first aired Monday night.
Tuesday, Wolf introduced an amendment (see it here) that would give the Fort Hood victims the combat-related pay and Purple Heart benefits they’ve been denied because the Pentagon has called the attack “workplace violence” and not an act of terrorism.
FBI reports show Hasan was communicating with a leader of Al-Qaida in Yemen prior to the attack. And, the government’s National Counterterrorism Center included the incident on a list of "high fatality terrorist attacks".
In an interview with NBC 5 Investigates, Wolf indicated he wants to look at whether anything can be done to suspend the pay of soldiers arrested for attacking other soldiers. He’s asked for a copy of the letter the Department of Defense sent to NBC 5 Investigates, confirming the details of Hasan’s pay.
Under current military rules, the Army cannot suspend Hasan’s pay unless he is convicted. More than three years after the attack he is still awaiting a court martial, which is expected to begin this summer.
Hasan's attorney has declined to comment on the matter. Additionally, the U.S. Army said they will not comment further until after Hasan's trial is complete.