Surveillance video of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan at a 7-Eleven the morning of the Fort Hood attack
JAFFA, Israel – Does the traditional South Asian garb worn in surveillance video by Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan provide a clue into his Islamic ideology, perhaps tying him to support for al-Qaida?
Hasan was videoed at a local 7-Eleven convenience store just seven hours before the attack in which he shot dead 13 and wounded dozens of others. He was seen wearing what has been broadly identified by much of the mainstream media as traditional Muslim garb.
Specifically, he was wearing a white shalwar camise, a traditional dress worn by both women and men in South Asia. It is particularly popular in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is also the traditional garb of al-Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood acolytes.
A clerk at the 7-Eleven frequented by Hasan told CNN the would-be shooter often would come into the store wearing the garb. At times, however, Hasan would also come in wearing his Army uniform or workout clothes, the clerk said.
An opinion piece yesterday in the Ottawa Citizen focused on the shalwar camise and claimed “no Arab male would ever want to be seen wearing this garb.”
The piece continued, “Having said that, there is one particular group of Arabs who did embrace the garb of the Pashtuns. They were the ‘Afghan Arabs’ who went to Afghanistan to wage jihad alongside al-Qaida and the Taliban.”
WND contacted several Islamic extremists in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as well as Muslim clerics in Jaffa, Israel, for a further explanation of the shalwar camise, finding the Ottawa Citizen piece was not entirely accurate, although the garb is in part associated with Afghan jihad.
The shalwar are loose trousers with legs that are wide at the top, and narrow at the ankle. The camise is a long shirt or tunic.
The shalwar camise is popular in Pakistan and Afghanistan and is also worn by al-Qaida and Muslim-Brotherhood-inspired jihadists there.
In a conversation in September, Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist group, which is allied with al-Qaida ideology, explained how some Palestinians in Gaza were wearing the shalwar camise as a sign of solidarity with al-Qaida.
He cited the trend as proof of the rise of such ideology in Gaza.
Abu Saqer, a Gazan Islamic cleric and leader of the Jihadiya Salifiya extremist movement, also affirmed the shalwar camise was associated with al-Qaida ideology.
A Muslim cleric in Jaffa, however, explained that religious Palestinians consider the shalwar camise more comfortable than the djellaba, which is the traditional Muslim garb. The djellaba is a simple robe and does not include pants.
“Shalwar camise includes pants. It’s better, because if the wind blows the djellaba, a person’s under garments will show,” he said.
Indeed, religious Palestinian Arabs can be seen throughout Arab neighborhoods here wearing the shalwar camise.
“While it is associated with al-Qaida, it’s also become a fashion trend. Many who wear it are doing so out of comfort. It absolutely does not mean they support any jihad movement,” explained the Jaffa cleric.
A resident of Jenin in the northern West Bank told WND that the shalwar camise is popular there and does not necessarily indicate any ideology.
“You see it all over. A lot of different people wear it nowadays,” he said.