The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Part III: Recommendations for Improving US Defenses Against Violent Islamist Extremism

The FBI and DoD failed to recognize and to link the information that they possessed even though they had advantages with respect to Hasan as compared to other lone wolves: (1) Hasan was a military officer who lived under a regimented system with strict officership and security standards, and (2) the government had learned of communications from Hasan to the subject of an unrelated FBI terrorism investigation [REDACTED]. Although both the public and the private signs of Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism while on active duty were known to government officials, a string of failures prevented these officials from intervening against him.

Our investigation of the Fort Hood killings, together with evidence gathered in our four-year investigation of homegrown terrorism, lead us to be concerned about three sets of problems in our nation's defenses against homegrown terrorism. First, DoD has conducted an extensive internal review of lessons from the Fort Hood attack but needs to strengthen policies and training to identify the threat of violent Islamist extremism, which includes the radicalization process, and to prevent radicalization of servicemembers to violent Islamist extremism. Second, the FBI's transformation into an "intelligence-driven" domestic counterterrorism organization needs to be accelerated.103 The FBI should ensure that its field offices are integrated, intelligence analysts are fully utilized, tradecraft is fully updated, and JTTFs fulfill the FBI's aspiration for them to become interagency information-sharing and operational coordination mechanisms. Third, the United States must develop a more proactive and comprehensive approach to detecting and countering the violent ideology that fuels homegrown terrorism.

103 - For FBI's aspiration to be a "threat-based, intelligence-driven national security organization," see, e.g., FBI Frequently Asked Questions, available at

Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias