Fort Hood Attack: US army chief worried about Muslim troopers experiencing a backlash

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New York, Nov.9 (ANI): US Chief of Army Staff, General George Casey Jr., has said that he is concerned about the possibility of Muslim troopers experiencing a backlash in the wake of Major Nidal Malik Hasan's move to kill 12 fellow soldiers and a civilian, besides wounding dozens of others, at Fort Hood in Texas.

"I've asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that," General Casey said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union.

"It would be a shame - as great a tragedy as this was - it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well," added General Casey, who has appeared on three Sunday news programs, and used almost the same language.

The US Army is keen to ward off bias against the more than 3,000 Muslims in its ranks.

Meanwhile, at a news conference in Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texax, the Army announced that 16 of the wounded remained hospitalized, with seven in intensive care.

Major Hasan, who was shot by a base police officer, was listed in stable but critical condition.

The major, a 39-year-old psychiatrist, is the American-born son of Palestinian immigrants. He vocally opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and seems to have moved toward more extreme religious beliefs in recent years, according to the investigators.

Investigators have tentatively concluded that he acted alone and was not part of a terrorist plot.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," labeled the shooting spree "the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11" and said that as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee he intended to investigate Major Hasan's suspected motives and whether the Army "missed warning signs that should have led them to essentially discharge him."

General Casey has acknowledged that fighting two wars at the same time have put strains on the Army and its soldiers. But he said the Army had taken steps to ensure that soldiers are prepared for the mental stress of combat and treated well if they suffer psychologically. (ANI)

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