Final Report of the Webster Commission on 2009 Fort Hood Massacre
A long-awaited report on the Fort Hood shooting faults the FBI for numerous failures in the run-up to the massacre that left 13 dead, concluding that agents' assessment of Maj. Nidal Hasan was "belated, incomplete and rushed" -- and suggesting political correctness played a role in the bureau's decision not to investigate him more thoroughly. (See the full report below)
The report, obtained by Fox News Thursday afternoon, includes 18 specific recommendations for changes at the FBI. However, it does not recommend any disciplinary action against employees at the bureau.
The report found that the FBI "erred" in several respects -- by failing to interview Hasan when concerns were raised about his contact with known terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki; by failing to search for more email contact between Hasan and Awlaki; and by waiting too long to pursue leads on Hasan.
The FBI "erred in the process they followed to conclude that Hasan's communications with (Awlaki) were benign and acceptable," the report said. "Their assessment of Hasan was belated, incomplete and rushed, primarily because of their workload."
The report into the 2009 shooting was conducted over the course of two years by former FBI Director William Webster. The FBI had been under pressure from some lawmakers in recent days to release the document.
The Webster report found numerous problems in the way the FBI handled concerns about Hasan after he visited Awlaki's website in late 2008, and later sent Awlaki - who was since killed in a drone strike - messages. Five months after the San Diego Field Office for the Joint Terrorism Task Force sent a lead to the Washington D.C. office with concerns about Hasan, the report said, headquarters conducted their review, only to determine Hasan was not "involved in terrorist activities."
After the San Diego office complained, neither office took any additional action.
Among the concerns in the report was the decision by officials in Washington not to interview Hasan, which the report called "flawed." The report disputed officials' claims that interviewing him could have jeopardized the investigation as well as his military career.
The report also quoted a San Diego official who claimed he suggested to headquarters in June 2009 that it would be appropriate to interview Hasan.
The Washington officer told him, according to a paraphrase in the report, that: "This is not (San Diego), it's D.C. and (the Washington office) doesn't go out and interview every Muslim guy who visits extremist websites."
The San Diego official also said he was told the subject was "politically sensitive."
The report concludes that despite "missteps," the problems at the FBI in the lead-up to the massacre do not constitute "misconduct" that would warrant disciplinary action.