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Potential Clues in Fort Hood Report on FBI’s Treatment of Tsarnaev Lead

Did politically correct "sensitivities" damn another probe into extremism with deadly results? PLUS: Napolitano says system "ping" caught Tsarnaev departure, but not return

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 23, 2013 - 8:23 pm
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Lawmakers questioning the FBI’s treatment of a tip about the radicalization of Tamerlan Tsarnaev may begin to find some answers in last year’s review of another case in which known extremism was downplayed with fatal results.

That was the case of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of shooting 13 people to death and wounding 42 on Nov. 5, 2009, at the Fort Hood deployment center after jumping on a desk and shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

The Final Report of the William H. Webster Commission on the FBI, Counterterrorism Intelligence, and the Events at Fort Hood, Texas was released last July without much attention as the suspect sat in perennial pretrial motions. It detailed a Bureau that brushed aside warning signs of a known extremist as he grew more radical and communicated with Yemeni cleric and al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.

The 173-page report containing sporadic redactions relayed conversations of agents just months before the Fort Hood attack arguing that they don’t “go out and interview every Muslim guy who visits extremist websites,” with the Washington, D.C., field office also advising the San Diego field office that the subject of probing someone like Hasan is “politically sensitive.”

One email determined that “Hasan was conducting US Army sponsored research that was online with the questions he sent Aulaqi.”

“If you have additional information regarding Hasan’s links to terrorism or request any specific action, please share and we will re-assess,” Washington told San Diego.

The FBI decided not to even interview Hasan and failed to consider searching for messages from al-Awlaki. “Their assessment of Hasan was belated, incomplete, and rushed,” the Webster report states.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce-Justice-Science, said in August at a hearing on the report that it raised serious concerns about the FBI choosing the path of least resistance when confronted with a potentially controversial investigation.

“I am concerned that there were warning signs, and that with more aggressive investigation, there is a chance that this incident could have been prevented,” Wolf said. “I am further concerned that the reason for less aggressive investigation may have been political sensitivities in the Washington Field Office, and maybe even the FBI’s own investigating guidelines.”

“An active duty member of the military communicating with a known radicalizer and recruiter should have been taken more seriously than it was. The report shows that the San Diego field office believed that at the time, as is shown by their unusual reaction to how the lead was handled by the Washington Field Office.”

Wolf asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to come testify at that hearing, but the Bureau sent Mark Giuliano, executive assistant director for national security.

In a lengthy letter to Mueller after the hearing, Wolf raised concerns that Giuliano “made comments to the committee that I believe were misleading or incorrect with regard to the nature of findings in the Webster Commission report and the FBI’s understanding of Anwar Aulaqi at various points over the last decade.”

In all, Wolf singled out six troubling statements from the FBI official as “potentially misleading, uninformed or incomplete.”

At the hearing, Wolf grilled Giuliano on whether political correctness led to agents being gun-shy about aggressively pursing Hasan’s links with Islamic extremists.

“The report did not find political correctness was in any way, shape, or form responsible for his lack of going forward with the interview,” Giuliano responded, countering the pair of noted concerns in the report about “political sensitivities” being a factor in Washington’s decision not to investigate Hasan further.

“I repeatedly asked Mr. Giuiliano to cite the section of the report that found that there was no political correctness ‘in any way, shape, or form,’ but he refused. When I confronted him about misleading the committee, he admitted that I was correct on that point,” Wolf wrote in the letter to Mueller. “Later in the hearing reversed again and said that he and I just ‘disagree’ on that point.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) met Sunday evening with an unnamed assistant director at the FBI who told him that the FBI missed Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to Russia last year because of a misspelling by the airline.

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Top Rated Comments   
Igude is correct. Identity politics has overtaken almost every government bureaucracy at all levels. To bring equality women who can't lift a fire hose become lieutenants after a short time to fulfill quotas. The FBI has been gutted by promoting special classes of people to the detriment of the white male. This brings discouragement by the white males who realize they cannot advance because quotas have to be filled. As in most government jobs the former backbones of the organizations simply give up because it now becomes what identity group you belong to is more important than how you do your job. San Francisco Police Department is another fine example.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Major is not an extremeist. He was following Muhammad. The only extremists within Islam are the Apostates.

His connection to terrorism is the koran.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Muslims will continue to come to America&kill us unless a stops put to them.Unfortunately!Obama doesn't see&realize he is dangering citizens.Liz
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Think about this for one minute.
The Koran requires all Muslims to kill the Infidels, we are the infidels, by the way. Are we allowing Islamic people to come to our Nation because we want of live in a more dangerous neighborhood?

Now, why are we, not only letting more of these people immigrate, but the Obama administration brought a hundred thousand Arabs from Palestine at the taxpayers expense, and they are now legal residents of this Nation, of course they are also on welfare and food stamps. This was done as a consequence of the Cast Lead offensive by Israel in retaliation for a thousand rockets shot into Israel.
Does anyone notice that no country is safe from Islam, it makes no difference what country you wish to look at, Islam is in the process of killing off the citizens and forcing Shariah into the society.
I see a patteren and we had better start pushing back and very soon or we will be destroyed from within.
We have some seven million Muslims in our Nation, how many does it take till we decide it is time to protect ourselves from this barbaric horde?
Soon we will all have to recognize just how deep this problem is in our society.

52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't anyone in this Democratic controlled bureaucracy speak plainly and honestly. Where do they get this endless stream of hacks to appear before congress, the press and the public to be continually covering up either their ineptitude or their socialist agenda or both.

Side comment to PJ Media: Consider making the default sorting for comments "oldest" first. Then it would read more like an ongoing discussion among site members like it used to. They way i is now, you have to re-select "oldest" every time you navigate away and then back to an article
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
“You have a young man who’s coming and going with respect to the sedation that he’s been under and very traumatic experience for any 19-year-old and he’s obviously shown some emotion about his involvement and the facts leading up to this taking place,” he added."

At 19 I was in a fun place called Vietnam. The government didn't seem all that worried about my having a very traumatic experience at the time even though there were a bunch of people running around trying to kill me.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
FBI investigations of reports of muslim suspicious activities start with a bucket of white out and a fast paper shuffle, and end up in a case closed file.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The referral of Tsarnaev to the FBI was likely tainted by incredulity, as the Kremlin will happily persecute and accuse anyone seen as an enemy of the state even if they’re as harmless as a human-rights activist."

Exactly. How much spying do you want on an American citizen and his brother who has stated a dream of boxing for the US Olympic team and has applied for American citizenship, based on the vindictive Putin regime?

Now, I would look into the funding of a six month trip to the Caucuses by a guy living on welfare.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you know how much our careers would suffer if we looked at a suspect based on his Islamic religious extremism?

Gentlemen, I give you the FBI.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
The administration fears slandering a "religion" in the name of diversity. When the soviet communists sought world domination, they blundered by explicitly renouncing religion. Hence, they were vulnerable to being labeled "enemy." Islam can seek domination and destruction of non-islamic cultures in the name of religion, and demand that their "religion" be respected.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you have an administration more worried about reelection and maintaining control of it's citizens, political correctness is the order of the day. Do not offend the people that are responsible for you and your party being in power regardless of what disasters occur within the borders.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Igude is correct. Identity politics has overtaken almost every government bureaucracy at all levels. To bring equality women who can't lift a fire hose become lieutenants after a short time to fulfill quotas. The FBI has been gutted by promoting special classes of people to the detriment of the white male. This brings discouragement by the white males who realize they cannot advance because quotas have to be filled. As in most government jobs the former backbones of the organizations simply give up because it now becomes what identity group you belong to is more important than how you do your job. San Francisco Police Department is another fine example.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
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