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Crime & Courts

Victims angry, but experts cite legal reasons why Fort Hood shooter not charged with terror

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan admits opening fire in 2009 at Fort Hood, killing 13 people. He has said he did it in an effort to stop his fellow soldiers from going to Afghanistan and killing his fellow Muslims.

So why is the November 2009 attack being tried as a case of workplace violence and not as an act of terror?

Expert Scott Silliman says it's because military law does not have a punitive article for terrorism. Hasan was on active duty and committed the acts on a military installation, and that is why he's being tried by court-martial.

Lawyers for the victims contend the government could administratively declare this a terrorist act so their clients could qualify for Purple Hearts and higher benefits. They filed a lawsuit last year over the administration's decision to treat the incident as workplace violence.

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