Fort Hood attack 'defended Taliban', says suspect

Nidal Hasan (file image) Maj Nidal Hasan has said that he does not want his military defence team beside him in court

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A US Army psychiatrist accused of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting has said he will argue he targeted soldiers as they posed a threat to Taliban fighters.

Nidal Hasan said the "leadership of the Taliban in general" was in immediate danger from the personnel, who were about to deploy to Afghanistan.

But a military judge warned the 42-year-old he needed to show supporting evidence for his defence to be valid.

On Monday, he was allowed to represent himself in a court martial trial.

The US-born Muslim spoke during a hearing on Tuesday at the Texas military base where he is accused of the premeditated murder of 13.

He could be executed or face life in jail without parole if convicted.

The legal strategy Maj Hasan says he will use is known as a "defence of others" argument.

It requires him to prove that his actions protected people from immediate danger or death.

He also faces 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder for those who were wounded during the shooting.

The selection of a panel of officers who will act as the jury at his court martial is set to begin on Wednesday, and opening arguments are expected in July.

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