Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Lessons of Information Sharing from Fort Hood

Sep 13, 2012 Issues: Domestic Radicalization / Radicalization Hearings, Counterterrorism

Washington, D.C. – The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, chaired by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), will hold a hearing entitled “Lessons From Fort Hood: Improving our Ability to Connect the Dots” tomorrow at 9 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.

In November 2009, 13 people were killed and many more wounded when U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, a radicalized soldier, attacked Fort Hood, TX.  Hasan was inspired to carry out the shootings on the military base by radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awalki, with whom he had corresponded by email.   Their correspondence was brought to the attention of federal law enforcement prior to the attack, but the information was not acted upon. 

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Judge William H. Webster was commissioned to conduct an investigation of the FBI’s actions in the events leading up to the attack.  In July 2012, the William H. Webster Commission released a final report, which made 18 recommendations to correct weaknesses found in the FBI’s policy guidance, technology, information review protocols, and training.  Tomorrow’s hearing will review these findings and recommendations.  Members will also have the opportunity to examine the progress made and the work that remains in information sharing within the Intelligence Community since the attack at Fort Hood.

McCaul said: “Can we improve our ability to connect the dots?  The 9/11 attacks, which happened eleven years ago this week, required our government to review how we share intelligence information among relevant agencies and with state and local law enforcement.  The 9/11 Commission report stressed the importance of full scope intelligence analysis that draws from all relevant sources of information, and concluded the biggest impediment to all source analysis is a systemic resistance to sharing information.  Since 2005, the Government Accountability Office has also designated terrorism-related information sharing as high-risk because challenges exist in analyzing key information and sharing it among security partners.  Based on factual reports, it appears, in the case of the Fort Hood shootings, accurately analyzing a threat is still problematic. In this case, accurate information was not shared between the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies, which led to an incomplete picture and a less-than-robust investigation of someone who was, as his peers have referred to him, a ‘ticking time bomb.’  Our hearing will examine the human and systematic elements to get a better understanding of the facts of the Fort Hood case as we now know them - to better understand how these facts that seem so obviously alarming now were missed by seasoned professionals - and to understand how the Intelligence Community as a whole can benefit from the lessons learned from the tragedy at Fort Hood.”

What:                Subcommittee Hearing:  Lessons From Fort Hood: Improving our Ability to Connect the Dots

When:                 9 a.m., Friday, September 14, 2012

Where:               311 Cannon House Office Building

                          **Live video feed available HERE.

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available online HERE

Witness List:

Panel I

Mr. Douglas Winter
Deputy Chair and Editor-in-Chief
The William Webster Commission

Ms. Irshad Manji
Director
Moral Courage Project
New York University

Mr. Michael Leiter
Former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center

Panel II

Mr. Kshemendra Paul
Program Manager
Information Sharing Environment
Office of Director National Intelligence