Senators say Fort Hood shooting was terrorism
Several lawmakers and terror experts at Senate hearings on the Fort Hood shooting Thursday called the incident a terrorist attack, and warned of the danger of homegrown jihad.
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Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before firing on a crowd of 300 soldiers and killing 13. That's enough evidence for General Keane to label the shooting an act of terrorism.
"The basic English dictionary definition of terror is the use of violence to instill fear and intimidate, so it's hard to imagine this wasn't an act of terror," said Frances Townsend, former Assistant to President George W. Bush on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
"It looks a lot like going postal – a deepening sense of personal grievance culminating in a homicidal rampage directed toward coworkers," Mr. Jenkins said. He added, "There are many aspects of Maj. Hasan's personality that are troublesome, but that doesn't exclude his act from being properly labeled an act of terrorism."
Did data 'silos' protect Hasan?
A major finding of the 9/11 Commission was that "silos" within the federal government kept critical information about a terrorist plot from passing into the right hands, partly due to "need to know" requirements that blocked the flow of intelligence.
"Just the fact that Hasan was seeking advice and communicating with a known Al Qaeda associate reminds me very much of the siloed information that was available throughout the federal government in different agencies prior to … 9/11," said Sen. Susan Collins, (R) of Maine.
Role of political correctness
A key question for Senator McCain was whether political correctness – language, policies, and behavior intended to minimize offense to minority or gender groups – played a role in preventing the Army and Pentagon from confronting Hasan when he exhibited disturbing behavior.
News reports have detailed the failure of the military to report up the chain of command the disturbing and delusionary behavior Hasan exhibited. Some have suggested this was partly because of the fear of appearing to be targeting a Muslim.
"Political correctness played a role," according to Keane. "It shouldn't have to be an act of moral courage on behalf of a soldier to report behavior that we should not be tolerating within the military; it should be an obligation."
Pentagon to probe 'internal weaknesses' behind Fort Hood shooting
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