Oversight, Investigations, and Management Subcommittee Hearing on
Lessons of Information Sharing from Fort Hood
September 18, 2012
The Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Oversight, Investigations, and Management, chaired by Rep. Michael
McCaul (R-TX), held a hearing entitled “Lessons From Fort Hood:
Improving our Ability to Connect the Dots.”
In November 2009, 13 people were killed and many more wounded when U.S.
Army Major Nidal Hasan, a radicalized soldier, attacked Fort Hood, TX.
Hasan was inspired to carry out the shootings on the military base by
radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awalki, with whom he had corresponded
by email. Their correspondence was brought to the attention of federal
law enforcement prior to the attack, but the information was not acted
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Judge William H.
Webster was commissioned to conduct an investigation of the FBI’s
actions in the events leading up to the attack. In July 2012, the
William H. Webster Commission released a final report, which made 18
recommendations to correct weaknesses found in the FBI’s policy
guidance, technology, information review protocols, and training.
Tomorrow’s hearing will review these findings and recommendations.
Members will also have the opportunity to examine the progress made and
the work that remains in information sharing within the Intelligence
Community since the attack at Fort Hood.
said: “Can we improve our ability to connect the dots? The 9/11 attacks,
which happened eleven years ago this week, required our government to
review how we share intelligence information among relevant agencies and
with state and local law enforcement. The 9/11 Commission report
stressed the importance of full scope intelligence analysis that draws
from all relevant sources of information, and concluded the biggest
impediment to all source analysis is a systemic resistance to sharing
information. Since 2005, the Government Accountability Office has also
designated terrorism-related information sharing as high-risk because
challenges exist in analyzing key information and sharing it among
security partners. Based on factual reports, it appears, in the case of
the Fort Hood shootings, accurately analyzing a threat is still
problematic. In this case, accurate information was not shared between
the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other
agencies, which led to an incomplete picture and a less-than-robust
investigation of someone who was, as his peers have referred to him, a
‘ticking time bomb.’ Our hearing will examine the human and systematic
elements to get a better understanding of the facts of the Fort Hood
case as we now know them - to better understand how these facts that
seem so obviously alarming now were missed by seasoned professionals -
and to understand how the Intelligence Community as a whole can benefit
from the lessons learned from the tragedy at Fort Hood.”