Lieberman: Fort Hood Shooting Could Be ‘Most Destructive Terrorist Act’ Committed on U.S. Soil Since 9/11

Nov 8, 2009 1:45pm

ABC News' Kristina Wong reports: Today Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee Sen. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., said he would begin a congressional investigation into whether the Army missed warning signs regarding the Nov. 5th Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, that should have led to his being discharged earlier.

“Really, in the U.S. Army, this is not a matter of constitutional freedom of speech. If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamic extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance. He should have been gone,” Lieberman said on “FOX News Sunday.”

Lieberman said it was clear Hasan was under personal stress, and that if third party reports of statements and acts he made are valid, Hasan had turned to Islamic extremism. Lieberman said those reports included Hasan making a series of statements justifying suicide bombing and comparing it to the bravery of an American soldier throwing himself on a grenade to save his colleagues; and supporting the June shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas, where a 24-year-old American-born convert to Islam fired on soldiers at a recruiting station, killing one and wounding another. Lieberman also said testimony of Hasan yelling “Allah Akbar” before firing raised genuine concerns that this was a terrorist act.

“If that is true, the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact, it was the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11,” Lieberman said. “There are very, very strong warning signs here that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist.”

Lieberman said although there were ongoing criminal investigations into what exactly happened, his investigation would specifically look into whether Hasan is a self-radicalized, home-grown terrorist – the type his committee said would be the “new face of terrorism in America” in a report last May.

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