By GUILLERMO CONTRERAS
The FBI said today that it appears Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan acted alone in the Fort Hood shootings, and was not involved in terrorist activities when a joint terrorism task force crossed paths with him last year.
“At this point, there is no information to indicate Major Nidal Malik Hasan had any co-conspirators or was part of a broader terrorist plot,” the FBI said in a statement. “The investigation to date has not identified a motive, and a number of possibilities remain under consideration. We are working with the military to obtain, review and analyze all information relating to Major Hasan in order to allow for a better understanding of the facts and circumstances that led to the Fort Hood shooting. Understandably, there is a large volume of information in various forms, and it will take us some time to complete this work.”
The FBI also said the investigation includes forensic examinations of Hasan’s computers and any of his Internet activity in hopes of gaining insight into his motivation.
Hasan came to the attention of the FBI and the Defense Department Criminal Investigative Services in December 2008 as part of an unrelated investigation being conducted by an FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force.
In that case, agents and analysts reviewed unspecified communications between Hasan and the unidentified subject of the investigation, and determined that the content of those communications was consistent with research being conducted by Maj. Hasan in his position as a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“Because the content of the communications was explainable by his research and nothing else derogatory was found, the JTTF concluded that Major Hasan was not involved in terrorist activities or terrorist planning,” the statement said. “Other communications that the FBI was aware of were similar to the ones reviewed by the JTTF.”
The FBI declined today to provide further information about the target of the investigation, or to specify whether that probe remained ongoing.
Federal law, regulations and policies state that information gathered by task forces like the JTTF can be disseminated outside the task force — even within the parent agency like the FBI — only with the approval of the FBI supervisor in charge of the particular joint terrorism task force.
“In this case, following the review and analysis conducted by investigators, there was a conclusion made by the investigator and the supervisor that Major Hasan was not involved in terrorist activities or planning,” the FBI said. “Further dissemination of the information regarding Major Hasan was neither sought nor authorized.”