Pending ongoing investigations, the Obama administration has resisted the terror label, and a November poll showed slightly more Americans view the Fort Hood rampage as a “killing spree” rather than an “act of terrorism.”
But Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut and others have cited the connection between Hasan and Al-Awlaki as proof that the Fort Hood shooting was a terrorist attack – which, if true, would be the first of the Obama presidency, and would have legal and political consequences for the investigation into the incident.
Thursday’s news from Yemen, if it proves that a terrorist group was behind al-Awlaki, may support that view and prompt an official reevaluation of the shooting.
"It is now inescapable for any seasoned expert on the Jihadist movement to see a wide and clear connection between Awlaki and Hasan," says Walid Phares, author of "Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America," in an e-mail.
Regardless of whether al-Awlaki was killed or not, Mr. Phares says, the raid seems to show he was operating actively with Al Qaeda forces in Yemen. “Awlaki was part of an active Al Qaeda terror action and he was in contact with Hasan, who committed a violent action against the US military inside the US. Not seeing the connection would be a dangerous failure in national security analysis, which could have future consequences."