Last Tuesday, the FBI announced the launch of an independent investigation into the shooting at Fort Hood. FBI Director Robert Mueller selected former FBI Director Judge William H. Webster to conduct a review of "FBI policies, practices, and action" prior to the events at Fort Hood.
As suggested in a recent blog post by Margaret Hemenway, the investigation should also review the policies of the Department of Defense's Muslim Chaplaincy Program. Hemenway, who served as a White House appointee for The Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA under President George W. Bush, points to a 2004 DOD investigation which recommended that the DOD or DOJ should include a background check of an individual's affiliations with religious organizations and their endorsing agents as part of the vetting process.
More rigorous vetting requirements seem like a pretty good idea considering the history of extremist leaders in the program. Hemenway references an October 2003 Senate hearing which detailed the connections between radical Islamists and the Muslim Chaplaincy Program.
Abduraham Alamoudi, an individual with links to al Qaeda and Hamas, established the Muslim Chaplaincy Program. In 2004, Alamoudi pled guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by traveling and engaging in dealing with Libya, making false statements in his naturalization application, and a tax offense involving a long-term scheme to conceal his financial transactions with Libya and his foreign bank accounts from the IRS. Alamoudi acknowledged that he was involved with two al Qaeda-linked agents in a colorful plot manufactured by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to assassinate then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
Shortly after Alamoudi began serving his 23-year prison sentence the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Alamoudi had raised approximately $1 million dollars for the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA) Foundation in the United Kingdom- an organization tied to al Qaeda. Authorities at the Treasury Department noted that Alamoudi's arrest "was a severe blow to al Qaeda, as Alamoudi had a close relationship with al Qaeda and had raised money for al Qaeda in the United States."
Alamoudi is also linked to Hamas. According to IRS filings for the organization, Alamoudi served as a director for the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) from 1994 until 1998. UASR was co-founded by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and Hamas operative Muhammad Salah has referred to the UASR as "the political command" of Hamas in the United States.
After Alamoudi was sent to jail, Ingrid Mattson, the President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) became responsible for credentialing Muslim chaplains. ISNA's roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood, whose goal in the United States according to a 1991 Brotherhood memo by Mohamed Akram Adlouni is "a grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house." ISNA was explicitly listed in the memo on a "list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends." The memo was submitted as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) Hamas financing trial. ISNA was named as an un-indicted coconspirator in trial, which resulted in guilty verdicts in 2008 on all 108 counts against HLF and five of its former officials.
Even Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan himself reportedly served as the de-facto Chaplain at Fort Hood when the previous chaplain was transferred to another base. Before he left Fort Hood, Chaplain Khallid Shabazz interviewed Hasan to lead the Islamic services at Fort Hood in his absence. Shabazz said that he felt confident that Hasan "was the right person for the job."
Hemenway concludes that in the wake of Fort Hood, the Defense Department needs to "overhaul the military's Muslim chaplain and outreach program to eliminate ties to terrorist groups, terrorist sympathizes and the intellectual enablers of jihad."