- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2013

Police are trying to identify who threatened to bomb a county courthouse nearby Fort Hood if demands from Maj. Nidal Hasan — on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 dead — weren’t met.

The threat, made by telephone early Wednesday, cleared the courthouse and the adjacent Bell County Justice Center, The Associated Press reported.

The caller mentioned Maj. Hasan, and specified that officials needed to meet his “demands,” AP said. Bomb-sniffing dogs didn’t find anything, but the jail was placed on lockdown.

The specifics of those demands aren’t clear, authorities said. Maj. Hasan, who is defending himself from murder charges and accusations that he killed 13 and injured almost three dozen in a shooting on the Fort Hood Army post in 2009, hasn’t made demands of jail staff or at his court hearings, said Bell Count Sheriff Eddy Lange, in the AP report.

Maj. Hasan, an American-born Muslim, has previously admitted he shot at the victims but that he did it to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.

Police reopened the courtroom and released the jail from lockdown status when the time frame for the bomb threat came and went without incident, AP reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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