Frank Wolf Statement
Final Report of the William H. Webster Commission on the FBI,
Counterterrorism Intelligence, and the events at Fort Hood, Texas on
November 5, 2009
August 2, 2012
Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-VA) statement at a hearing of the Subcommittee on
Commerce-Justice-Science regarding the final report of the William H.
Webster Commission on the FBI, Counterterrorism Intelligence, and the
events at Fort Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009:
Today’s hearing is on the Final Report of the William H. Webster
Commission on the FBI, Counterterrorism Intelligence, and the Events at
Fort Hood, Texas. I would like to welcome the witness, Mark Giuliano,
the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director for National Security. Thank you
for your appearance today.
On November 5, 2009, United States Army Major Nidal Hasan entered the
Fort Hood deployment center carrying two pistols. He shouted “God is
great” in Arabic, and opened fire, killing thirteen people and injuring
forty-two others. Hasan is awaiting military trial for thirteen counts
of premeditated murder and thirty-two counts of attempted murder.
The Webster Commission Report was issued publicly on July 19. The report
includes extensive factual findings on the FBI’s counterterrorism
authorities, programs and systems, as well as specifics on the FBI
investigation of Anwar al-Aulaqi, and the assessment of Nidal Hasan.
The report analyzes the Bureau’s actions, and includes 18
recommendations for policy, procedural and other actions.
After reading the report, 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. 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.
the Commission found that the decision not to interview Hasan was
flawed, I am concerned that the current FBI guidelines and culture made
this the path of least resistance. The Webster Commission makes no
recommendations on changing the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and
Operations Guide (DIOG), but if these guidelines were indeed followed in
this case, and that failed to prevent all these deaths and injuries, it
may be worthwhile to question whether the guidelines themselves are a
problem. We want to understand what took place and ensure that agents
are empowered to prevent similar attacks in the future.
I will also have questions based on the report’s findings and
recommendations, and what steps have been taken and will be taken to
improve counterterrorism assessments and investigations. Several of
these recommendations have resource implications, which we will want to
consider in terms of FY13 Appropriations.
Finally, I am concerned that the FBI may not have provided the
Commission with a full accounting of its prior interactions with Aulaqi,
including the notable omission of Aulaqi’s return to the U.S. in October
2002 when the FBI dropped an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Before I recognize you to present your testimony, I would like to
recognize my colleague, ranking Minority Member Mr. Fattah for any
comments he would like to make.