Leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee are blasting an Army report into failures leading up to last year's Fort Hood shooting massacre by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. In a report issued Tuesday, the Army said it failed to properly identify the threat that existed before the shooting, the Washington Times reports.
While the report recommended greater education for troops on identifying "when individuals may commit violent acts or become radicalized," it did not mention Hasan by name, nor did it refer to the shooting as a terrorist attack, instead referencing the "tragedy."
Witnesses at a recent probable cause hearing described hearing him shout "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire inside a Fort Hood processing center.
A statement from Homeland Security committee spokeswoman Leslie Phillips said the report's findings "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."
Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and ranking Republican Susan Collins of Maine promise their own report on the massacre and recommendations later this month. Collins issued a separate statement, in which she shared criticism at the absence of any reference to violent Islamist extremism in the Army report.
"This lack of guidance does not help service members distinguish the threatening and violent ideology of terrorists from the peaceful and protected expression of religious belief by Muslims, including the many dedicated and patriotic Muslims serving in our military," Collins said. "As a consequence, the Department of Defense risks either missing the next terrorist threat from within its ranks or focusing unwarranted investigative attention on innocent persons."
The report recommended enhancing information sharing on threats between the military and law enforcement, and the Pentagon will add to its representation in FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces. It also suggested troops be screened more closely for "behavioral indicators that a person may commit violent acts or become radicalized."
The Army report can be read here.