US intelligence agencies knew Major Nidal Malik Hasan – who allegedly carried out the massacre at Fort Hood military base in Texas – tried to make contact with the al-Qaeda terror organization only several months prior to the shooting, the ABC network reported Monday, quoting security sources in Washington.
The incident that horrified the United States occurred last Thursday night. The gunman opened fire inside the infirmary waiting room at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing 13 soldiers who were in line to see the doctor. The gunman was intercepted by security forces at the base.
Initial investigation concluded that Hasan, who worked as a psychiatrist at the base, operated alone.
In the latest development, ABC network revealed that US intelligence sources were aware of the Muslim major's attempts to contact sources affiliated to al-Qaeda.
While it is not clear whether the military was informed of these attempts, a security source said that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) refused to release any intelligence they might have collected in connection with the shooter.
Director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, were asked by Congress to "keep" all intelligence documents related to Hasan.
Independent Senator Joe Lieberman called for the establishment of an investigation committee that will look into why the military failed to detect signs of Hasan's extremist opinions.
"If Hasan showed early signs – by talking to others about his extremist Islamic views – the military should of not been tolerant," said Lieberman in an interview with Fox News network.
Reports of Hasan's dubious past and behavior might have been harbingers of things to come. British publication Sunday Telegraph reveled Sunday that Hasan used to attend prayer services in a mosque headed by an Imam who is considered the "spiritual advisor" of three of the men responsible for the September 11 attacks.
According to the report, during 2001 Hasan frequented the Dar al Hijrah Mosque at Great Falls, Virginia, where in the same year he also held his mother's funeral service. Three of the plane hijackers were also worshippers at the same mosque.