En intern Pentagon-rapport viser at hæren ikke fanget opp at psykiater Nidal Malik Hasan hadde utviklet seg i radikal retning, og hæren fikk heller ikke informasjon fra FBI som hadde fanget opp hans kommunikasjon med Al Qaida-predikanten Anwar al-Awlaki.
Men det største hinderet kan ha vært at hæren har allergi mot å omtale muslimsk radikalisering og islam som et potensielt problem.
Selv ordet «terror» forsøker hæren å unngå. Massakren ved Fort Hood-basen 5. november for ett år siden blir fortsatt omtalt som en «tragedie».
13 ble drept og 43 såret da Hasan gikk amok. Han skal ha brukt lasersikte for å treffe flest og mest presist, alt mens han ropte Allahu Akbar.
Hærens forberedelser for å fange opp slik radikalisering er svært mangelfull, konkluderer rapporten.
The report said that Pentagon policies and procedures for identifying «indicators of violence» in personnel «are outdated, incomplete and fail to include key indicators of potentially violent behaviors.»
To fix the problem, the report recommends programs to educate troops on indicators «that signal when individuals may commit violent acts or become radicalized.»
The report also said the Army has revised its regulations on identifying internal and external threats to troops to include «additional observable indicators for espionage, terrorism and extremism.»
The statement is the closest the Army has come to referring to Fort Hood as a terrorist attack. The Army continues to refer to the attack as a «tragedy.»
Det lyder underlig og ikke så rent lite fantastisk at en hendelse som var et soleklart tilfelle av terror, ikke blir klassifisert som det. Hvilken virkning vil en slik unnvikelse ha på soldatene og deres familier?
Fremdeles ser det ut som om det er «hensynene» og frykten for å støte mulismene som dikterer hærens holdninger.
One soldier testified Friday that a non-commissioned officer ordered him to erase two cellphone videos of the attack. While a «mystifying» and possibly illegal request, says Rosen, he hypothesized that it could have been intended to protect the privacy of Hasan’s victims.
But some critics saw the order as evidence that the government, including the Army, is more concerned about protecting Muslims from backlash from angry Americans than revealing the truth behind how modern jihadi terrorism works. They point to the lack of words like «jihad» or «Muslim» in the Pentagon’s official report on the Fort Hood massacre as proof that what they see as watered-down assumptions and hedged judgments about the Islamic threat to the US are hurting, not helping, national security.
«This rush to remove from our enemy’s actions any suggestion of a possible Islamic religious motive reflects this administration’s unwillingness to name our Islamist adversaries,» writes a blogger at PipeLineNews, a consortium of conservative investigative journalists. «This is a critically serious threat to national security in that it places blinders on a defense establishment whose job it is to prevent further attacks.»
At the hearing in a small, nondescript Fort Hood courtroom, Howitzers sound in the distance as witnesses, many still bearing scars from injuries sustained from Hasan’s attack, describe the shooting in documentary detail. A presiding military judge will determine whether Hasan will face capital charges, where a 12-member military panel made up of high ranking officers could rule for the death penalty.
Denne omstendelige, indirekte, forsiktige tilnærmingen kan bety at offentligheten ikke får vite motivet for Hasans angrep. Man skulle tro alt ville bli lagt frem, feks. epostutvekslingen med al-Awlaki, men det er visst slett ikke sikkert.
«If people want to know about some overarching conspiracy to attack the United States, I’m not sure if that will come out [in a trial],» says Richard Rosen, a former staff judge advocate at Fort Hood and currently a law professor at Texas Tech. «We’re more likely to hear about his state of mind when he committed the murders.»
Congressional reports on the Fort Hood shooting have highlighted the veteran soldier’s contact with Anwar Al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric known to foment violence against the US over the Internet. Personal problems, inappropriate statements at work, and a looming deployment to Afghanistan all hint at a man driven to the brink, fueled by stories about war injustices he’d heard from US soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In September, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate panel that broader Al Qaeda strategy has diversified in terms of tactics and targets.
But while the Obama administration did not reference the Fort Hood shooting as an example, Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, the Homeland Security Committee ranking member, said, «I am convinced that terrorists are beginning to focus their efforts on smaller-scale attacks, with small arms and explosives such as we saw at Fort Hood, Arkansas, and in India.»
A key decision in the Fort Hood trial may be whether to introduce Hasan’s email correspondence with Al-Awlaki, says Jarret Brachman, author of «Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice.» «That would tell us volumes about the ideological direction he was receiving,» he says. It’s also possible that Hasan will eventually make a statement in court or introduce other evidence that could reveal his motivation.
En som ikke er fornøyd med Pentagons egen granskning er senator Joe Lieberman og han er ikke redd for å navngi fienden.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, issued a statement on reports by the Army and other services made public on Tuesday, saying the reports «fall short of explaining why 13 Americans were killed over a year ago — namely that we are threatened by violent Islamist extremism and that an Army major who made public statements supportive of this murderous ideology was not stopped by his superiors.»
«It is disappointing that these final reports fail to mention violent Islamist extremism and do not offer explicit policies or procedures to make sure that service members who become radicalized to violent Islamist extremism are identified, reported, and discharged,» Mr. Lieberman said in a statement.
Mr. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said his panel is conducting an independent probe of the attack and will soon issue its own report. He said the report will include calls for the Pentagon «to deal directly and effectively with the deadly threat that violent Islamist extremism poses to our service members.»
«As the recent terrorist plots to blow up planes with cargo bombs and murder civilians in subways show, this vicious ideology continues to threaten our security,» he said.
Will Fort Hood shooting trial find motive – or link to terrorism?
The prosecution of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of killing 13 in the Fort Hood shooting last November, may never reveal his motives – or touch the possibility of a larger terror conspiracy.