Meanwhile I have to wonder, is this faux battle royal between bureaucracies an engineered distraction to mask the government's own involvement?
- Associated Press -
WASHINGTON – Finger-pointing erupted between federal agencies Tuesday over suspect Nidal Hasan. Government officials said a Defense Department terrorism investigator looked into Hasan's contacts with a radical imam months ago, but a military official denied prior knowledge of the Army psychiatrist's contacts with any .
The two government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case on the record, said the Washington-based joint terrorism task force overseen by thewas notified of communications between Hasan and a radical imam overseas, and the information was turned over to a assigned to the task force. The communications were gathered by investigators beginning in December 2008 and continuing into early this year.
That Defense investigator wrote up an assessment of Hasan after reviewing the communications and the Army major's personnel file, according to these officials. The assessment concluded Hasan did not merit further investigation — in large part because his communications with the imam were centered on a Iraq and and the investigator determined that Hasan was in fact working on such a paper, the officials said.about the effects of combat in
Army Wasn't Told of Hasan's EmailsPentagon Says It Only Learned of Shooting Suspect's Contacts With Cleric After the Fort Hood Killings
President Barack Obama walks past the helmets and rifles of slain soldiers on his way to address a memorial service Tuesday at Fort Hood, Texas. The traditional military tribute included hymns and a roll call with the names of the 13 men and women who died in last week's shooting rampage at the sprawling Army base.
Wall Street Journal -
The Pentagon said it was never notified by U.S. intelligence agencies that they had intercepted emails between the alleged Fort Hood shooter and an extremist imam until after last week's bloody assaults, raising new questions about whether the government could have helped prevent the attack.
A top defense official said federal investigators didn't tell the Pentagon they were looking into months of contacts between Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki. The imam knew three of the Sept. 11 hijackers and hailed Maj. Hasan as a "hero" after the shooting last week at Fort Hood that left 13 people dead.
"Based on what we know now, neither the United States Army nor any other organization within the Department of Defense knew of Maj. Hasan's contacts with any Muslim extremists," the official said.
The Pentagon comments fueled a growing dispute among various branches of the government about whether Maj. Hasan should have been more deeply investigated before he allegedly walked into a crowded soldier-readiness center at Fort Hood and opened fire.A person familiar with the matter said a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was told about the intercepted emails several months ago. But members of terror task forces aren't allowed to share such information with their agencies, unless they get permission from the FBI, which leads the task forces.
In this case, the Pentagon worker, an employee from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, helped make the assessment that Maj. Hasan wasn't a threat, and the FBI's "procedures for sharing the information were never used," said the person familiar with the matter.
More Hasan Ties to People Under Investigation by FBI
Alleged Shooter Had "Unexplained Connections" to Others Besides Jihadist Cleric Awlaki
ABC News -
A senior government official tells ABC News that investigators have found that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan had "more unexplained connections to people being tracked by the FBI" than just radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki. The official declined to name the individuals but Congressional sources said their names and countries of origin were likely to emerge soon.Questions already surround Major Hasan's contact with Awlaki, a radical cleric based in Yemen whom authorities consider a recruiter for al Qaeda. U.S. officials now confirm Hasan sent as many as 20 e-mails to Awlaki. Authorities intercepted the e-mails but later deemed them innocent or protected by the first amendment.
The FBI said it turned over the information to the Army, but Defense Department officials today denied that. One military investigator on a joint terror task force with the FBI was shown the e-mails, but they were never forwarded in a formal way to more senior officials at the Pentagon, and the Army did not learn of the contacts until after the shootings.