Terror link probed in US base attacks

Washington - US Army investigators looked for help yesterday as they sought an explanation for why a major opened fire at Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 30.

Washington - US Army investigators looked for help yesterday as they sought an explanation for why a major opened fire at Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing 13 people and wounding 30.

"This has been a truly horrific last three days and every person has been touched in some way by this tragedy," said garrison chaplain Colonel Frank Jackson at one of the memorial services.

Investigators believe the suspected shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, 39, an army psychiatrist, acted alone when he opened fire in a troops processing centre on Thursday.

"All evidence at this point indicates the suspect allegedly acted alone," said army investigation spokesperson Chris Grey, appearing to rule out theories that Hasan was part of a radical Islamist sleeper-cell.

But The Washington Post reported yesterday that investigators were examining links between Hasan and an American-born imam, who authorities say has become a promoter of Al-Qaeda since leaving a Northern Virginia mosque.

Hasan attended the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church in 2001 when its leader was Anwar al-Aulaqi.

The imam had crossed paths with Al-Qaeda members, including two September 11 2001 hijackers, the paper said.

Aulaqi now lives in Yemen.

But it was not clear whether Hasan established a relationship with Aulaqi during his 2001 visits to the mosque.

Senator Joseph Lieberman, who chairs the Senate's homeland security committee, said the shooting might have been an act of "Islamist extremism". - Sapa-AFP

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