National/World

Terrorism expert may testify at Fort Hood trial

Thursday, August 09, 2012
U.S. Army Lt. Col Kris Poppe, from left, Maj. Christopher E. Martin, right front, and Capt. Justin Oshana, right rear, depart the justice center Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in Fort Hood, Texas. The three are the defense team for Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who faces the death penalty in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

U.S. Army Lt. Col Kris Poppe, from left, Maj. Christopher E. Martin, right front, and Capt. Justin Oshana, right rear, depart the justice center Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in Fort Hood, Texas. The three are the defense team for Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who faces the death penalty in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (AP Photo)

An Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage meets six factors that indicate someone is a homegrown terrorist - including having three videos on his computer, a terrorism consultant said Thursday.

Evan Kohlmann answered questions from attorneys and the judge during a pretrial hearing for Maj. Nidal Hasan, whose defense team does not want the consultant testifying at the trial starting Aug. 20. The military judge, Col. Gregory Gross, said he would decide later whether Kohlmann will testify.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 shootings at the Texas Army post. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Defense attorneys said the prosecution doesn't need Kohlmann's testimony or 50-page report on Hasan's case to show a motive or premeditation. They said the consultant's report was based only on evidence in the case - including only five Internet searches for words such as Taliban and al-Qaida - and had no analysis. Kohlmann did not explain how he developed the six factors to profile that someone is a terrorist, defense attorneys said.

Kohlmann, testifying from his New York office via telephone Thursday, said he has done extensive research by talking to terrorists and extremist groups in person, online or on the phone, developing his six-factor theory by analyzing data and groups' activities through the years. He has obtained virtually all terrorism-related videos and messages posted on social networking forums, he said. Details of the videos found on Hasan's computer were not disclosed.

Kohlmann has testified for the government in more than two dozen terrorism cases.

"The bottom line is: Is this junk science or not? The answer is that clearly it's not," Lt. Col. Steve Henricks, one of the prosecutors, told the judge.

At the start of the seven-hour hearing, the judge found Hasan in contempt of court and fined him $1,000 for a third time after he showed up in court with a beard. Gross then sent Hasan to a nearby trailer to watch the rest of the hearing on closed-circuit television, as he has done since showing up with a beard at a June hearing.

Beards are a violation of Army regulations. Hasan's attorneys say he keeps declining to shave because he believes that doing so would violate his faith. Gross has ordered Hasan to shave by the trial or he will be forcibly shaved.

Gross also denied a defense motion to move the trial to another Army post and to have the jury comprised of officers from other military branches. Lead defense attorney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe asked that the judge once again delay the trial, this time to Oct. 9, but there was no ruling Thursday.

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