Sean Hannity speculated that "there is a chance our government knew all about" alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan "and did nothing because nobody wanted to be called an Islamophobe," and asked, "What does it say about Barack Obama and our government?" But there is no evidence that Obama was aware of the emails between Hasan and an imam with alleged ties to Al Qaeda; moreover, Hannity did not address what the incident says about President Bush, who was in office when the authorities reportedly first intercepted the emails.
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Hannity: "there is a chance our government knew all about Hasan," "What does it say about Barack Obama?"
From the November 9 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: This Fort Hood situation is really beginning to disturb me and should disturb everybody. And that is that there is a chance our government knew all about this guy Hasan and did nothing because nobody wanted to be called an Islamophobe. We're not talking about Islam, we're talking about radical Islam. You know, this guy going in there, god is great, etc., etc., and all the things he's saying. But everybody hat worked with him, Bob, knew ahead of time, our government apparently knew and did nothing. Now, this is a terrorist act, if in fact this was motivated in such a way. What does it say about Barack Obama and our government?
Hasan communications with imam with alleged ties to Al Qaeda reportedly intercepted in "late 2008"
Reports: Army and FBI aware of emails during Bush administration. Several news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune and Associated Press, have reported that the FBI and Army became aware of emails between Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki in late 2008, during the Bush administration. These reports contain no evidence that Obama (or Bush) were made aware of the emails. From a November 9 Chicago Tribune article:
The FBI and the Army looked into contacts between the Army psychiatrist accused of last week's deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood and a Yemen-based militant Islamist prayer leader but concluded that he didn't pose a terrorist threat, senior law enforcement and military officials said Monday.
The disclosure that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan had ongoing communications with an imam who had ties to Sept. 11 hijackers was sure to raise the question of whether U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies had information that, if properly shared and investigated, might have helped to prevent the attack.
Several U.S. officials said U.S. intelligence agencies first intercepted communications between Hasan and Awlaki starting in late 2008 as a result of another investigation, and that the information was given to one U.S.-based multi-agency Joint Terrorism Task Force and then to another one based at the Washington Field Office because of Hasan's assignment at the Walter Reed medical center.
The Washington task force, which included FBI agents and Army criminal investigative personnel, launched a probe and determined that Hasan was contacting the radical cleric -- who has ties to other Al Qaeda-affiliated individuals -- "within the context of the doctor's position and what he was doing at the time, conducting research on the issues of Muslims in the military and the effects of war in Muslim countries.''
The official said Hasan had ''reached out to Awlaki several times before he got a response,'' and that there was little in the correspondence to raise serious red flags.
From a November 9 AP article:
FBI Director Robert Mueller has ordered an internal inquiry to see whether the bureau mishandled worrisome information gathered about Hasan beginning in December 2008 and continuing into early this year
Based on all the investigations since the attack, including a review of that 2008 information, the investigators said they have no evidence that Hasan had help or outside orders in the shootings.