Investigators said Monday that they had been tracking Nidal Malik Hasan's correspondence with someone abroad since last year. Reports suggest that person is radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. But its unclear whether investigators told the Army.
Senior government officials confirmed Monday that since late last year they had been assessing the threat presented by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the lone suspect in the shooting rampage that killed 13 people and wounded 29 at Fort Hood Thursday.
Investigators acknowledged that they intercepted 10 to 20 "communications" between Hasan and an individual overseas since late last year. The New York Times reports that this individual is Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric who preached in a Washington-area mosque that Hasan attended in 2001 but has since fled to Yemen. Mr. Awlaki has been linked to at least two of the 9/11 hijackers.
Investigators, however, said that the nature of the correspondence between the two was social and contained "religious guidance" that was consistent with a research project Hasan was conducting as a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Medical Center. It was not deemed threatening enough to open an investigation against Hasan.
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