(WASHINGTON) - The FBI and Department of Defense Thursday reacted to a new Senate report that blames the two departments for failing to recognize or act on the extremist views of the 2009 Fort Hood shooter, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan.
The report, from Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Joe Lieberman and ranking Republican Susan Collins, says the FBI and DOD could have prevented the shooting if they had identified Hasan’s radical Islamist views and disciplined or discharged him before the attack occurred.
"Our report’s painful conclusion is that the Fort Hood massacre could have and should have been prevented," Lieberman said at a press conference.
"The Fort Hood massacre resulted because of what I would call a tragedy of errors – just one after another - by organizations that normally perform effectively. But in this case – for a host of various reasons and frankly some things that are hard to explain – just totally failed to act in a way that as you look back at the evidence with the clarity of hindsight just shouts out, ‘Stop this guy before he kills somebody!’ And he was not stopped," Lieberman said.
Both the FBI and the Department of Defense reacted to the report and pledged continued efforts to mitigate such threats in the future.
"We appreciate the committee's efforts to examine circumstances surrounding the Fort Hood shooting incident," the DOD said in a statement. "The Department places a high priority on implementing recommendations that will strengthen policies, programs and procedures that contribute to the safety and health of our military forces."
Among new prevention and education policies at the DOD include educating personnel of potentially destructive behavioral indicators and new, more accessible personnel records.
The FBI said it has already undertaken improvements that came as a result of an internal investigation immediately following the incident, but will adopt those changes recommended by the report that they deem appropriate.
"While concluding that the FBI’s transformation to an intelligence-driven organization remains a work in progress, the report recognizes the FBI’s substantial progress and many successes, led by Joint Terrorism Task Forces, in disrupting terrorist plots by homegrown extremists," the FBI said in a statement.
The November 2009 shooting killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.
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