Leder av Senatets forsvarskomite, demokraten Carl Levin, sier Nidal Malik Hasans massakre på medsoldater var terror, dvs. utslag av bevisste, politiske handlinger. Det viser seg at Hasan la igjen mange spor som tydet på radikalisering, men ingen satte puslebitene sammen. Da ville alarmen gått med en gang.
Åtte år etter 9/11 er dette alarmerende: det var nettopp slike hull man ønsket å tette.
Men fortsatt er det mangel på koordinering.
En annen ting som kommer frem er at militære har regler for utilbørlig politisk aktivitet, men disse er siktet inn på supremasistiske, dvs rasistiske grupper. Det står ingenting om religiøs fanatisme. Man har ikke sett for seg muligheten av ekstreme islamister. Det er utrolig med tanke på alt USA har gått gjennom de siste åtte årene.
Levin also said he considers Hasan’s shooting spree, which killed 13 and wounded more than 30, an act of terrorism.
«There are some who are reluctant to call it terrorism but there is significant evidence that is. I’m not at all uneasy saying it sure looks like that,» he said.
He said his committee will also look into whether military members have the ability to report suspicious behavior evinced by colleagues.
FBI and military officials have provided differing versions of why Hasan’s critical e-mails to al-Awlaki and others did not reach Army investigators before the shooting.
FBI officials have said a military investigator on the task force saw the e-mails and looked up Hasan’s record, but finding nothing particularly worrisome, the investigator neither sought nor got permission to pass the e-mails on to other military officials.
But the senior defense official has countered that the rules of the task force prevented that military representative from passing the records on without approval from other members of the task force.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said it appears there was enough information available to law enforcement, the military and intelligence agencies to raise alarm bells about Hasan but no one connected the dots.
«Had it been gathered on one desk, someone might have said ‘Nidal Malik Hasan is dangerous,'» Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, told reporters after the briefing.
The Pentagon may reconsider rules governing participation in extremist organizations that some lawmakers say appear outdated and too narrow in light of the shooting rampage at the Army base in Texas.
Lieberman said Congress may recommend such a review, and a Pentagon spokesman said Friday that the rules could be among the policies scrutinized by a wide-ranging inquiry aimed at preventing another similar attack.
The Pentagon wrote regulations on «dissident and protest activities» in response to soldier participation in skinhead and other racially motivated hate groups. The current rules were written in 1996 and last updated in 2003.
The rules prohibit membership or participation in «organizations that espouse supremacist causes,» seek to discriminate based on race, religion or other factors or advocate force or violence. Commanders can investigate and can discipline or fire people who «actively participate in such groups.»
Levin: May be more troubling emails from Hasan