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Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan banned from arguing he was defending the Taliban

Bell County Sheriff's Office via Reuters

Maj. Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 people in a November 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, in an undated Bell County Sheriff's Office photo.

A military judge barred Army Maj. Nidal Hasan on Friday from arguing at his court-martial that he was legally acting to protect Taliban leaders when he killed 13 people and injured 32 others in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Hasan, who's representing himself, has said the shootings were a premeditated "defense of others" to safeguard Mullah Mohammed Omar and other Taliban leaders in Afghanistan from attacks by the U.S. military.

Hasan, 42, a Muslim-American Army psychiatrist, faces the death penalty if he is convicted in the Nov. 5, 2009, shootings.

The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, said Friday that Hasan's argument "fails as a matter of law" and barred him from alluding to it in any way because the legitimacy of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is "a non-justiciable political question not before the court," the Killeen Daily Record reported.

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"None of (the victims) in Fort Hood, Texas, posed an immediate imminent threat to those in Afghanistan," she said.


Hasan is seeking a three-month delay in his court-martial, which would be held at the same base he shot up 3½ years ago. Although he fired his three defense attorneys, Osborn has ordered them to assist him anyway — an order they've objected to.

Rulings on those two matters were still pending Friday afternoon. Hasan's next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

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Judge rules Fort Hood suspect can represent himself