The Federal Bureau of Non-Investigation
11:09 PM, Nov 9, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
On Monday, ABC News first reported that Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had reached out to al Qaeda associates prior to his attack. There were good reasons to speculate that one of these al Qaeda figures is Anwar al Awlaki -- an al Qaeda recruiter who acted as a "spiritual advisor" to two of the 9/11 hijackers. Awlaki preached at a mosque Hasan attended in 2001 and praised Hasan's attack on his web site Monday morning.
It turns out that informed speculation was correct, according to the Associated Press and the New York Times. Beginning in December of last year, authorities found that Hasan communicated with Awlaki "10 to 20 times." But no formal investigation was ever launched. Why?
The FBI has offered this muddled response:
This is remarkable -- in the worst possible way.
The "subject of that investigation" mentioned by the FBI is Awlaki. And Hasan's communications with Awlaki should have been a major red flag. Yet, the FBI says that investigators concluded these communications were consistent with Hasan's "research and nothing else derogatory was found."
That is incredible.
Awlaki is an active al Qaeda cleric and recruiter. Undoubtedly, that's why he was being investigated in December 2008 in the first place. Moreover, Awlaki and his followers assisted three 9/11 hijackers here on U.S. soil before their day of terror and, according to the Congressional Joint Inquiry into the September 11 attacks, Awlaki was a "spiritual advisor" for at least two of them.
Why would a member of the U.S. military contact a major al Qaeda ideologue to discuss his research? The only way that could be justifiable is if that American serviceman was collecting intelligence on Awlaki and his operations. But there is no evidence that this was the case here.
In fact, as press accounts have noted, "no formal investigation" into Hasan's communications with Awlaki was ever launched. How, then, could anyone say that his communications were consistent with anything at all -- other than an Islamic extremist reaching out to a known al Qaeda patron?
The rest of the FBI's statement is even worse.
The FBI says no motive has been determined. But we know that Hasan holds extreme Islamist beliefs. There is abundant evidence to that effect. So, yes, we have at the very least determined a partial motive.
The FBI says "there is no information to indicate Major Malik Nidal Hasan had any co-conspirators or was part of a broader terrorist plot." But there is information connecting Hasan to possible co-conspirators. He communicated with a known al Qaeda ideologue and recruiter between 10 and 20 times and that same al Qaeda figure has openly praised Hasan's mass killing on his web site.