Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Troubling Emails In Hasan Case

Sen. Carl Levin notes that there appear to be still more troubling emails written by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who massacred 13 soldiers at Fort Hood.
The U.S. government intercepted at least 18 e-mails between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-born cleric. They were passed along to two Joint Terrorism Task Force cells led by the FBI, but a senior defense official said no one at the Defense Department knew about the messages until after the shootings. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss intelligence procedures.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said after a briefing from Pentagon and Army officials that his committee will investigate how those and other e-mails involving the alleged shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, were handled and why the U.S. military was not made aware of them before the Nov. 5 shooting.

Levin said his committee is focused on determining whether the Defense Department's representative on the terrorism task force acted appropriately and effectively.

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.
It isn't just emails, but that the contact between Hasan and extremist imam Anwar al-Awlaki intensified. Hasan began inquiring about engaging in financial transfers to further his extremist ideology:
Hasan's contacts with extremist imam Anwar al-Aulaqi began as religious queries but took on a more specific and concrete tone before he moved to Texas, where he allegedly unleashed the Nov. 5 attack that killed 13 people and wounded nearly three dozen, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is sensitive and unfolding. One source said the two discussed in "cryptic and coded exchanges" the transfer of money overseas in ways that would not attract law enforcement attention.

"He [Hasan] clearly became more radicalized toward the end, and was having discussions related to the transfer of money and finances . . .," the source said in describing the 18 or 19 intercepted e-mails. "It became very clear toward the end of those e-mails he was interested in taking action."
Yet, despite these emails, no action was taken by the Army against Hasan. The recriminations between the Army and FBI are only going to intensify because the FBI apparently didn't pass along these messages to the Army all while the Army knew that they had someone in Hasan whose job performance was deficient and whose colleagues were concerned about his work product. Yet, the Army gave him a promotion.

Hasan remains hospitalized, and a pre-trial hearing is scheduled to occur at his bedside. His lawyer complains that the hearing is taking place without regard for his client's physical condition.

Curiously, the CNN article reporting on the pre-trial hearing notes the following:
Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, is accused of killing 13 people and injuring several others in the November 5 shooting at the Fort Hood Army Post near Killeen. He has not pleaded to the charges.
Hasan didn't merely injure several others. He wounded more than 30 other people during his shooting rampage. Some consider that Hasan actually killed 14 people, as one of the women murdered by Hasan was pregnant and the fetus died as well. Why is CNN downplaying the severity of the attack?

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