MARTHA MACCULLUM: Alright. There are brand new developments to tell you about on the rampage that we have been covering since it happened at Fort Hood. Fox News is now confirming that Army Major Nidal Hasan is now awake. He survived this. He was shot as you all remember and he was on a ventilator but he is now talking and he is speaking to medical staff. Hasan is suspected of killing 13 people; meanwhile Homeland Security Chairman has been speaking about it to the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee; I should say Joe Lieberman is speaking about this. He is calling for an investigation into whether the attack was an act of homegrown terrorism. Steve Emerson is the Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Steve, welcome, good to have you here today.
First of all, your thoughts on the investigation and the meaning of the fact that he is now awake and he is speaking. How long would it take-any idea on the protocol for when the FBI can get in there and start questioning him?
STEVE EMERSON: Well as soon as he is cognizant enough, I assume he is going to be charged. At that point he'll be read his rights, and that includes the right to remain silent and be given legal counsel. So the question is whether he is going to waive his rights or not and at what point he'll be charged. I assume that will be done in the next 24-36 hours considering that he is talking to medical personnel right now.
The question about whether he is an Islamic terrorist is a very good one. In fact, I spoke to the ranking Republican Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra this morning, who was fuming that the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, would refuse to give him a briefing about the signals and the activities of Malik Hasan in terms of what could be construed as patterns showing somebody who was an active Islamic extremist prior to carrying out his rampage.
MACCULLUM: You know one of the questions being raised, Steve, and I'm interested in your thoughts on this, is whether or not some intelligence officials may have been keeping an eye on him based on some of these internet postings that are believed to be attributed to him where he talks about suicide bombers, equivocating them with soldiers who throw themselves on grenades to protect their fellow soldiers.
EMERSON: If in fact the intelligence community was not monitoring it, and if intelligence inside the military was not monitoring it, then there was a major dereliction of duty here and I think that heads should roll because those postings; which are as you say, are most likely attributable to Malik Hasan, clearly indicated that he supported suicide bombings, and even made statements himself to colleagues that he supported suicide bombings against U.S. soldiers.
MACCULLUM: I'm just curious what you're take is on this. I only have a minute left but do you think this is an act of terrorism? Is this the kind of thing where someone is working just through the internet, doing their own act of terrorism or is this a crazy who snapped?
EMERSON: I think it is an act of Islamic terrorism. There is no doubt about. I mean, he was an extremist who believed in the need to carry out attacks on U.S. solders. He believed in suicide bombings. He went to the same mosque where one of the suspects of the 9/11 hijackings was the Imam. I think that althogether when you paint the portrait, you have an Islamic terrorist who carried out these killings. Whether in fact he was alone or not, we don't know at this point.
MACCULLUM: So there are going to be hearings led by Senator Joe Lieberman based on this. Steve Emerson, thank you very much.
EMERSON: You're welcome.