Fort Hood Gunman Told His Superiors of Concerns

KILLEEN, Tex. — Days before he opened fire inside a medical processing building at Fort Hood here in 2009, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan sent two e-mails to his Army superiors expressing concern about the actions of some of the soldiers he was evaluating as a military psychiatrist.

In the e-mails, one sent 13 days before the attack and the second three days prior, Major Hasan asked his supervisors and Army legal advisers how to handle three cases that disturbed him. In one case, a soldier reported to him that American troops had poured 50 gallons of fuel into the Iraqi water supply as revenge; the second case involved another soldier who told him about a mercy killing of a severely injured insurgent by medics; and in the third, a soldier spoke of killing an Iraqi woman because he was following orders to shoot anything that approached a specific site.

 

The Army never fully investigated his concerns. On Nov. 5, 2009, Major Hasan walked into a medical deployment center to kill as many soldiers as he could as part of a jihad to protect Muslims and Taliban leaders from troops heading to Afghanistan, he has said.

In 2007, when Major Hasan was a resident in the psychiatric program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, the academic presentation he made that was required for graduation — known as his grand rounds presentation — stated that a risk of having American Muslims in the military was the possibility that they would murder their fellow troops.

 

He had also asked a supervisor at Walter Reed whether he qualified for conscientious objector status, told classmates during a fellowship that his religion took precedence over the Constitution, and in an academic paper defended Osama bin Laden.

 

Major Hasan’s radical beliefs and his correspondence with his Army superiors have played a limited role in his military trial, now in its third week at Fort Hood.

 

 

Army missed red flags surrounding Major Hasan

The army and officers at Walter Reed Hospital apparently missed warning signs of radicalization in Major Hasan, according to a military review concluded on Friday.

“It is clear that as a department, we have not done enough to adapt to the evolving domestic-internal security threat to American troops and military facilities that has emerged over the past decade. In this area, as in so many others, the department is burdened by 20th century processes and attitudes, mostly rooted in the Cold War,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the press.

The army has an idea of who missed what, and intends to take action against the individuals and hold them responsible for lapses in judgment on Hasan’s behavior.

Communication breakdowns in the FBI and Pentagon also led to a failure to act upon Major Hasan’s contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been implicated as a player in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s radicalization case as well.