Yeah, sure, that's it: FBI didn't investigate Fort Hood shooter's emails to jihadist cleric because they were just "research"
Hasan was just doing his job, you see -- and in the course of doing that job, he contacted jihadist imam Anwar al-Awlaki. So what? What's the big deal? An Army psychiatrist has to do research, doncha know, and who understands psychiatry better than an Islamic supremacist sheikh?
Note that this was a guy who had spooked his coworkers by preaching Koranic hellfire and brimstone -- and Koranic warfare. . Maybe al-Awlaki helped him develop the PowerPoint.
"Hasan e-mails to cleric didn't result in inquiry," by Philip Rucker, Carrie Johnson and Ellen Nakashima for the Washington Post, November 10 (thanks to Benedict):
FORT HOOD, TEX. -- Maj. Nidal M. Hasan corresponded by e-mail late last year and this year with a radical cleric in Yemen who has criticized the United States for waging war against Muslims, but the contact did not lead to an investigation, federal law enforcement officials said Monday.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist suspected of killing 12 soldiers and a civilian here on Thursday, will be tried in military court, the officials said.
U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted 10 to 20 e-mails from Hasan to Anwar al-Aulaqi, a U.S. citizen who once was a spiritual leader, or imam, at the suburban Virginia mosque where Hasan had worshiped, said a law enforcement official who spoke about the investigation on condition of anonymity.
Aulaqi responded to Hasan at least twice, according to Rep. Peter Hoekstra (Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee.
"For me, the number of times that this guy tried to reach out to the imam was significant," Hoekstra said. "Al-Qaeda and radical jihadists use the Internet to spread radical jihadism. . . . So how much of [Hasan's] lashing out is a result of . . . his access to radical messages on the Internet and the ability to interact?
"I believe that the responses from Aulaqi were maybe pretty innocent," Hoekstra continued. "But the very fact that he's sent e-mail . . . to this guy and got responses would be quite a concern to me."
The FBI determined that the e-mails did not warrant an investigation, according to the law enforcement official. Investigators said Hasan's e-mails were consistent with the topic of his academic research and involved some social chatter and religious discourse....
Which shows yet again that the FBI is totally clueless about the nature and significance of "religious discourse" in this context.