Report Shows Fort Hood Massacre Could Have Been Prevented By FBI and Army, Senator Says

A November 2009 massacre at the U.S. Army’s Fort Hood military base in Texas “could have and should have been prevented” by the Army and the FBI, said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) at a news conference today about a Senate committee’s new investigatory report on the tragedy.

According the report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Army and the FBI failed to follow up adequately concerning multiple warning signs, said Lieberman, who chairs that Senate committee.

The senator said the report showed the FBI had compelling evidence of extremist behavior by the alleged shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, that should have resulted in his being discharged from the Army and probed in a counterterrorism investigation, the Washington Post reported.

The committee also found that the Army and FBI failed to act on evidence “in plain sight” that Hasan was communicating with a radical Islamic cleric and becoming an increasingly radical Muslim, reports the Houston Chronicle. A psychiatrist, Hasan allegedly told medical colleagues during his training that he sympathized with terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, for example, and thought there might be a defense for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

The Army and FBI said in separate statements that they have reformed their procedures since the Fort Hood shooting.

Meanwhile, the major’s counsel tells the Post that information is being withheld from his defense.

“I’m not the least bit surprised of remarks being made,” says Hasan’s lawyer, John Galligan. “But what concerns me most is that all this stuff you’re seeing in all these reports, I haven’t seen a shred of it. I’m not properly prepared to defend my client.”

Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 others were injured at the massacre at Fort Hood. Hasan, who is now partially paralyzed, is awaiting a potential general court-martial. If convicted there, he could face the death penalty, notes a Los Angeles Times article about the committee’s report.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Authorities Probe Possible Link Between Fort Hood Shootings and Terrorism”

ABAJournal.com: “Gagged by Judge, Fort Hood Shooting Suspect’s Lawyer Starts Blog Anyway”

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