Both the Army and the FBI were roundly criticized for failing to act on the information they had about alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan, and senators in a Homeland Security Hearing concluded Thursday there was clear evidence that he was radicalized.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee that spent 14 months on the report, said Hasan was open about his extremist views, but instead of disciplining Hasan, the Army rewarded him.
“This is an individual who is open about the fact that he had radicalized -- who says outrageous statements in front of entire class of mil officers -- and yet he's promoted,” Collins said. “It’s just astonishing and very troubling.”
Prior to the shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, the Senate report concludes the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, or JTTF, failed to tell the military that Hasan exchanged at least 18 e-mails with the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is described by U.S. officials as an operational planner who sanctions these attacks. Awlaki is linked to every major attack or attempted attack on the U.S. over the last 12 months.
Also, the FBI's JTTF in Washington, D.C., Collins said, spent just four hours deciding whether the contact between Hasan and the cleric was a potential threat to U.S. national security and the senators seemed appalled that no one had been held responsible.
“I don’t believe anyone has been disciplined or terminated because of the failures mentioned in this report, and that’s something I want to hear about from both DOD and FBI, the others we're sending the report to,” Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Hasan’s defense attorney, however, questioned the free-flow of information surrounding the case saying, "There is a lot of information out there that is still being withheld by the Army and the administration as we mount a defense in what will probably be a death penalty case."
There is a clear disconnect in the report, which was the subject of heated negotiations between the committee, the Justice Department and the Defense Department.
While Awlaki is the first American on the CIA's kill or capture list, Capitol Hill staffers tell Fox News the FBI insisted that the cleric be described in one section of the report as a suspected terrorist. In one of the report’s footnotes, the committee states that the extent of the redactions required by the intelligence community, was “unjustified.”
A Former Senate Intelligence Committee member told Fox News that the disconnect between the CIA and FBI is “a big deal,” adding that “the confusion is read as weakness by the bad guys.”
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.