The visit to Fort Hood Tuesday by Vice President Mike Pence comes a week before the 10th anniversary of the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting rampage at the post's Soldier Readiness Center that left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the creator and leader of the Islamic state who blew himself up over the weekend when cornered by U.S. Special forces, was idolized by Major Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who opened fire on his fellow servicemen and women at Fort Hood in 2009. He was sentenced to death in 2013.

On August 28, 2014, Hasan’s attorney said his client had written a letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, requesting he be made a citizen of the Islamic State. He included his signature and the abbreviation SoA (Soldier of Allah).

The Obama Administration labeled the attack 'workplace violence,' this despite the fact that Hasan's Army business cards included the acronyms 'SoA(SWT),' which meant 'Soldier of Allah (Glory to God).' Following the shooting, Imam Anwar al-Awlaki praised his actions. Between December 2008 and June of 2009, the FBI investigated Hasan's email conversations with al-Awlaki, but they concluded that the emails did not call for a larger investigation.  ABC reported that officials were aware that Hasan had attempted to contact Al Qaeda, and that Hasan had "more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI" than just Anwar al-Awlaki.

Speaking to the Fort Hood soldiers, Vice President Pence said, "Let me say on behalf of the American people the families of our fallen and all of the brothers and sisters in arms. The American people are with you. This nation will never forget or fail to honor the service of scarification of our heroes who fell on Nov. 5, 2009."

 

According to KCEN, Vice President Pence talked to the soldiers about the weekend raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and about the Trump administration's commitment to providing for the troops.

 

"Our troops, as the president said, are incredible and by taking out the leader of ISIS we've made measurable progress in the battle against radical Islamic terrorism. But as the president made clear and all of you may know, the United States of America will never relent from our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and any terrorist organization that threatens our country."

Vice President Pence spent Tuesday morning viewing  a live fire exercise and meeting with troops. He arrived at Fort Hood Monday night after visiting Baton Rouge earlier in the day.

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