Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan reportedly shouted the familiar Islamic phrase asserting the supremacy of Allah, “Allahu akbar,” before he killed at least 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 28 at Fort Hood in Texas, according to the base commander.
Lt. Gen. Robert Cone told reporters he’s received unconfirmed reports that Hasan uttered the Arabic phrase meaning “Allah is the greatest.”
The father of one of the soldiers who was at a staging area for medical and dental checks said she heard the shooter exclaim “Allahu akbar” as he opened fire, reported KSL-TV in Salt Lake City.
She described the incident as an attack by terrorists.
KSL did not identify the family, saying they agreed to talk on condition of anonymity, because they feared their daughter could get in trouble with her superiors.
The soldier’s father said his daughter was frantic and upset when she called him yesterday afternoon shortly after the incident at about 1:30 p.m. Central Time.
“She said, ‘Dad, I’m OK. Don’t worry, I’m OK.’ And initially I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘Haven’t you heard?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘We’ve been attacked by terrorists.’”
The father told KSL News the group of soldiers his daughter was in were startled by gunfire.
“A person behind the counter stood up, and he said, ‘Allahu akbar!’ and just opened up on everybody,” the father said.
The father, a military veteran, said his daughter thought it was some sort of drill but quickly discovered otherwise.
“It was within a second or two she realized it was real, because the person right next to her was shot and killed instantly,” he said.
The man says his daughter immediately fell to the ground and played dead. He says he contacted KSL because he thought people should know what happened.