The Fort Hood shooting may soon become more politically explosive. Two U.S. intelligence officials Thursday night confirmed to Declassified key details of a just-breaking ABC News report--that in emails sent to a radical Yemeni cleric, accused shooter Nidal Hasan asked when jihad is appropriate, and said “I can’t wait to join you” in the afterlife.
One U.S. official, who did not want to be named discussing sensitive information, said the emails could be “a problem,” but cautioned that they still needed to be viewed in context.
briefings for reporters and members of
To respond to Congress--and to prepare for Hasan’s trial--U.S. intelligence officials have been wrestling with how much of the email chain (intercepted by U.S. intelligence) can be declassified without compromising sources and methods. Given the leaks, that question may soon be academic.
officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said
that Awlaki has been a major target for American intelligence collectors since
he left the United States in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, settling first in
England and then Yemen. While in the
intelligence agencies monitored Awlaki once he settled in
Given all of that,
Yet because the emails are central to discovering whether
Earlier this week, the ABC News investigative team, led by correspondent Brian Ross, also reported that Hasan had tried to get government and military lawyers to open criminal investigations of soldiers he claimed had confessed to “war crimes” during psychiatric counseling sessions. According to ABC, however, Hasan’s military superiors “repeatedly ignored or rebuffed” Hasan’s complaints. ABC said that one military lawyer, Col. Anthony Febbo, had told investigators that on three occasions in the weeks before the massacre, Hasan had contacted him asking whether it was permissible, under medical privacy laws or rules, for him to provide prosecutors with information on "war crimes." Febbo told ABC News he could not comment because of the ongoing investigation, and a spokesman for Army Headquarters told Newsweek that the service was not commenting on any aspect of the Hasan investigation. Spokespeople for Defense Secretary Robert Gates and James Clapper, the Pentagon’s chief of intelligence, had no immediate comment.