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Army lacks guidelines to deal with jihadists in ranks
Question of the Day
He concluded an e-mail to The Washington Times with: “It is the policy of the Army to provide equal opportunity and treatment for all Soldiers without regard to race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.”
After Mr. Lieberman’s hearing, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced departmentwide reviews of the shooting that will identify threats among service members, as well as new policies, changes and procedures.
“The shootings at Fort Hood raise a number of troubling questions that demand complete but prompt answers,” he told a Pentagon news conference.
An emergency 45-day investigation will be led by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Navy chief Vernon Clark. That probe will focus on policies on discharging service members and related mental health issues, as well as security and emergency response at U.S. military facilities.
A longer six-month review will examine what Mr. Gates called “systemic institutional shortcomings.”
“It is prudent to determine immediately whether there are internal weaknesses or procedural shortcomings in the department that could make us vulnerable in the future,” Mr. Gates said.
Thursday’s testimony focused on the history of homegrown terrorists, increased attacks directed at the military, and whether investigators failed to “connect the dots” between Maj. Hasan and his potential radical activity.
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and ranking committee member, said there were “warning signs and red flags galore” that investigators missed or ignored.
“There was allegations of communications with other extremists, a Web posting advocating suicide bombing,” Mr. McCain said.
“Extremist activities at Walter Reed in that Hasan antagonized some students and faculty by espousing what they perceive to be extremist Islamic views, and of course the most notable is his activities while working at Walter Reed was a medical presentation to fellow students where he included statements such as we love death more than you love life, fighting to establish an Islamic state to please God even by force is condoned by the Islam,” Mr. McCain said.
Mr. McCain also asked the panel whether they thought the shooting was an act of terrorism.
“In my mind, I do,” Gen. Keane said.
“I think it’s hard to imagine that this wasn’t an act of terror,” Mrs. Townsend said.
Added Juan Carlos Zarate, an adviser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “It certainly looks like an act of terror to me.”
Only one panelist, Mitchell D. Silber, director of intelligence analysis for the New York City Police Department, declined to answer.
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