A Ticking Time Bomb

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"A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons from the U.S. Government's Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack" is a report, issued in February 2011 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, on the shooting, at Fort Hood, Texas, on 5 November 2009.[1] In the attack "13 Department of Defense (DoD) employees[2] were dead and another 32 were wounded in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001...the individual accused of the Fort Hood attack, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is a U.S. citizen." The Committee stated its goals as:

  1. "[assessing] the information that the U.S. Government possessed prior to the attack and the actions that it took or failed to take in response to that information
  2. "[identifying] steps necessary to protect the United States against future acts of terrorism by homegrown violent Islamist extremists.
Our basic conclusion is as follows: Although neither DoD nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient

information to have detected Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it. Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government's handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be

broader systemic issues.
Both the FBI and DoD possessed information indicating Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism. And, to the FBI's credit, it flagged Hasan from among the chaff of intelligence collection for additional scrutiny. However, the FBI and DoD together failed to recognize and to link the information that they possessed about Hasan:
  1. Hasan was a military officer who lived under a regimented system with strict officership and security standards, standards which his behavior during his military medical training violated; and
  2. the government had [REDACTED][3] communicat ions from Hasan to a suspected terrorist, [REDACTED], who was involved in anti-American activities and the subject of an unrelated FBI terrorism investigation. This individual will be referred to as the "Suspected Terrorist" in this report.

The above redactions presumably are "intercepted and "Anwar al-Aulaqi".


  1. Joe Lieberman, Chairman, and Susan Collins, Ranking Minority Member (February 2009), A Ticking Time Bomb: Counterterrorism Lessons from the U.S. Government's Failure to Prevent the Fort Hood Attack, U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  2. 12 soldiers and one civilian
  3. The Committee wrote, "The redactions in this report were required by the Intelligence Community pursuant to Executive Branch classification policies and are the result of intensive negotiations spanning three months. We take issue with the extent of these redactions, some of which we believe are unjustified, but we have consented to them in order to produce this report in a timely manner."