US Army missed signs in Fort Hood attack: senators

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 3, 2011 17:23 EDT
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WASHINGTON — US authorities should have thwarted a deadly November 2009 shooting rampage at a Texas army base, but failed to fully grasp the suspect’s growing Islamist extremism, two key lawmakers said Thursday.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, an independent, and the panel’s top Republican, Senator Susan Collins, said the US military and law enforcement must overhaul how they handle home-grown radicals.

US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, a US-born Muslim, has been charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 more in a November 5, 2009 attack at the Fort Hood army base near Killeen, Texas, and could face the death penalty.

“Our report’s painful conclusion is that the Fort Hood massacre could have and should have been prevented,” Lieberman said as he and Collins released findings from their investigation into the attack.

“People in the Department of Defense and the FBI had ample evidence of alleged killer Nidal Hasan’s growing sympathies toward violent Islamist extremism in the years before the attack,” said Lieberman.

The nearly 100-page report upbraided the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for missing or ignoring clear warning signs, including colleagues who branded Hasan “a ticking time bomb.”

“Although neither DoD nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it,” it said.

The report emphasized Hasan’s alleged communications with a “suspected terrorist” — widely thought to be Anwar al-Awlaqi, a radical US-born cleric now being hunted in Yemen as an Al-Qaeda associate.

“He openly suggested that revenge might be a defense for the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He openly sympathized with violent Islamist extremists and defended Osama bin Laden. He justified suicide bombers,” said Collins.

And he “publicly said that he had an allegiance to his religion that was greater than his allegiance to the United States Constitution, which as a military officer he had sworn to uphold,” she charged.

Lieberman and Collins criticized the US military and the FBI for ultimately playing down what they said were signs of Hasan’s “radicalization to violent Islamist extremism” that were “on full display.”

And while the US military had “compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him,” it failed to act, the lawmakers said.

“To address this failure, the Department of Defense should confront the threat of radicalization to violent Islamist extremism among service members explicitly and directly and strengthen associated policies and training.”

And the FBI should “accelerate” its growing focus on intelligence, they said.

The FBI said in an unsigned statement that it “agrees with much in the report and many of its recommendations” and would adopt “appropriate” measures — but did not detail which ones.

It also said it had moved to address “areas of concern” and awaited the results of an independent investigation to determined whether further steps were required.

Agence France-Presse
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  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    Unless they have clear physical evidence it’s just hearsay. He said she said. This person said this, another person said that, which can boil down to people who dislike you saying bad things about you to get you fired from your job.

    Unless they had some evidence of what he was planning to do, along with evidence of a psychological break or potential to break, what exactly could they have known about this guy that wouldn’t apply to the typical conservative Christian?

    “The report emphasized Hasan’s alleged communications with a suspected terrorist — widely thought to be Anwar al-Awlaqi, a radical US-born cleric now being hunted in Yemen as an Al-Qaeda associate.”

    They want the excuse to put people who talk to unknown “suspected” terrorists aka “terror suspects” on the targeted individual list. This allows them to target anybody they feel like just by going around and having a vote of hands from people who don’t like what the person had to say. In my opinion this isn’t hard evidence, it’s very subjective and weak.

    If he had a website or notebook detailing his plans, if he talks about planning a suicide or terrorist attack, this would be actionable intelligence. If he just talks about violent ideas in public, then you have a lot of people who are Christian who talk just like that. Why focus on this guy? Because he’s muslim?

    As much as we want to think there are always red flags or warning signs, some people just snap and theres no smoking gun. A person can have a nervous breakdown, become unstable or suicidal and in an instant go from a “normal” individual, to being on a mission of suicide by cop. It’s not something we can predict by what people say. Behavioral profiling has it’s place, but I see the trend of applying this profiling only to muslims and other minority individuals, which seems to be just like another type of racial profiling. It’s not based on any hard evidence other than a bunch of people pointing the finger at someone who said or thinks something they don’t like?

    Extremism of language isn’t the problem. The problem is extremism of action. You have to look at what they are actually doing, not what books they read, what they say, because every terrorist is not going to say the same stuff or read the typical things, so this will never work in practice.

    Read “Threat Assessment Teams and Gang Stalking” http://www.targetedindividuals.com/threat-assessment-teams-and-gang-stalking/

  • http://twitter.com/savagelight ThatBostonMan

    “Many Targeted Individuals wonder how they could be placed on a list in the first place? Who has the power or the authority to do such a thing? If you live in a country such as the U.K. your local councils have this ability as displayed in the Jane Clift case. If you live in the U.S. or Canada it might be the task of what’s called a threat assessment team.

    This team can be comprised of just a few individuals, to a team of individuals. It depends on the company, educational facility, or community they are representing and what the specific needs are.

    Some examples include members of Human Resource, Police Officers, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Professionals, Senior members of the department or division. In some cases there might be just a small team, who then liaison with various other departments. The team members are pre selected, so the team is already in place. The team should generally be trained in assessing workplace violence, violence on campus, what to do, who to call, and they might also be trained in profiling an individual, to enable them to make an assessment of wither an individual is a threat vs a none threat to the environment around them.

    The threat assessment teams and who they are comprised of seem to make no concessions or allowances for being evaluated by a team of peers. Eg. In court cases they try to encourage a variety of jurors, so that a person being judged can be evaluated by a peer of their jurors. This in theory allows for fairer trials and outcomes. With the threat assessment teams there are no such guidelines for who the team is comprised of, or what the make up of the team should be. This may or may not account for why the Targeted Individual community has seen an above average targeting of females and minorities. In addition dissenters such as whistle-blowers, extremist site members, and conspiracy site members are also starting to show up above average.

    Once in place the team is ready to take tips from the community around them. Generally the team will liaison with Human Resources, The police, Employee Assistance Program, Mental health, and when a report comes in they use these other resources to assist with their assessment of the Target.

    Reports can be filed via a form, the reports can be filed anonymously. This means that the person making the accusation need not have any accountability for making a false report. This might not be the case in every area, but in most of the threat assessment guidelines I came across, reports could be filed anonymously. Keep in mind that report are likely primarily initiated by human resources, campus resources, etc. However anonymous reporting of any kind leaves an organization open to abuses of the system that might be difficult to identify or remedy.”

  • Anonymous

    What else is new? Is this a new form of derivatives, well if it is, betting on the Republicans missing?….ignoring? there you have, betting on the latter, the derivative “ignore” and Chromeman-Sachs will make you a partner in no time.

  • Anonymous

    Is the military going to investigate all cases of religious radicalization or just Muslim radicalization?

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    the repuggs are currently overthrowing our government as we speak and GW said ‘”SO WHAT’”,so what if we torture Muslims till they confess to what ever we want them to confess to.you’re either with us or against us. this man did a terrible thing but we also need to put GW in the cell next him so he can see the one who’s really responsible for what he was seeking revenge for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    He was a fairly high ranked officer. Anyone who has been in the military will tell you that officers can get away with just about anything.

    Even if they get caught red handed, they can usually shift blame to one of their enlisted men.

  • Anonymous

    Another “military” oxy-moron statement, you Jack-Wagon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TF72KWIG5DGSPE3ZXDK6FX4KTQ Robert Burned

    The whole U.S. Army is a fucking murder rampage. What were they supposed to notice?

    By the way, some turd dragged the words “Islamic Extremism” into this. Liar.

    Oh wait–his name is Lieberman.

    I repeat myself.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care about labels and examples in this case. This guy is a dirtbag and should the max.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TF72KWIG5DGSPE3ZXDK6FX4KTQ Robert Burned

    And who do you think you are, you pig?

    An American terrorist, that’s who.

    Allah be fucked: your kind deserve what they get.