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Apartment's detritus offers glimpse into suspect's life

As investigations into the the Nov. 5 massacre at the Fort Hood, Tex. army base ensue, the military community deals with the realities of violence at home and abroad.

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By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 12, 2009

KILLEEN, TEX. -- A scarlet and gold prayer rug jumbled in a corner.

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A bath towel askew atop the bedroom door.

A tube of "Age-Defying" toothpaste.

"Dreams and Interpretations," by Dr. Allamah Muhammad bin Sireen.

Jordanian coins.

Israeli coins.

Jumper cables.

Black sandalwood cologne.

A paper shredder and the box it came in.

This is Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan's apartment, and these are the things that remain. No longer here are the possessions the alleged Fort Hood killer delivered to his next-door neighbor or the bags of potential evidence hauled away by investigators.

Opened to reporters by a manager on Wednesday, the scuffed one-bedroom rental on Fourth Street presents a few scattered tiles in the mosaic of Hasan's life. Among them is a box of business cards, ordered from an Internet printer, that signal Hasan's profession and his faith:

"Behavioral Health -- Mental Health -- Life Skills

Nidal Hasan, MD, MPH

SoA(SWT)

Psychiatrist"

SoA refers to "soldier of Allah" or "slave of Allah," and "SWT" to an Arabic phrase meaning "glory to him, the exalted."

The walls are white and unadorned; the floor is a cheap linoleum the color of a pale moon.

On a folding table in the living room, near the coins and several pens, are two rubber stamps with Hasan's Army rank and position.

By the front door, where he shed it, is his footwear, including sandals, gym shoes and a pair of black patent leather dress shoes. A pair of desert camouflage trousers lie tossed across a storage bin near a blue T-shirt on the floor.

Hasan's medicine is there, in a box that once held Dockers shoes. Antihistamines and an 8-year-old prescription from a San Antonio Air Force hospital for the anti-HIV combination Combivir, sometimes given to those, including medical personnel, who fear they may have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS.

In the kitchen, next to the refrigerator, someone stacked a pile of Hasan's correspondence and examinations he took while studying to become a psychiatrist.

A Texas company thanked him Oct. 16 for his "recent purchase of insurance" for a 2006 Honda Civic LX and noted his claim for damages when someone dragged a key the length of the car.

On an examination, one question asked: "According to the DSM-IV, agoraphobia is defined as . . ." Hasan correctly circled answer A: "Anxiety about being in places from which escape may be difficult."


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