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Fort Hood Massacre Suspect Says Was Defending Taliban

U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan

U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan

The U.S. Army psychiatrist charged with shooting dead 13 American soldiers on a Texas military base says he will argue that he carried out the attack to defend Taliban fighters in Afghanistan from U.S. forces.

Major Nidal Hasan, 42, told a military judge at Fort Hood on June 4 that he plans to mount a "defense of others" argument at his court martial, in which he will act as his own attorney.

He has asked the court for a trial delay so he can prepare his defense.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, said the soldiers he shot at Fort Hood in 2009 were preparing to go to Afghanistan to attack the Taliban.

He faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP