FBI Director: 2009 Fort Hood Attack Inspired By Al Qaeda
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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) questioned FBI director James Comey at a hearing today before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood. During the hearing, Director Comey said he agreed with the assessment that the Nidal Hasan’s actions were inspired by Al Qaeda.
(For a video of the exchange, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ_lEuvBfoc.)
The full transcript follows:
Cornyn: “Director Comey, thank you for your service to the country and thank you for your commitment to cooperate with this committee and Congress as part of our responsibilities to conduct oversight, and that hasn’t always been the case with the Administration, but I appreciate the approach that you bring to it.
“In your opening statement you mentioned Al Qaeda-inspired terrorism and I know you’re familiar, if not specifically, generally with the facts of the 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, when Major Nidal Hasan shot and killed 13 people, injured a couple dozen plus more. Do you agree with the intelligence community’s assessment that Hasan was inspired by Al Qaeda to conduct that attack?”
Comey: “Yes, sir. Based on everything I’ve read, again, I wasn’t in office at the time, but I’ve read about it since, and I do.”
Cornyn: “I appreciate that straightforward answer. It seems almost obvious, but for some reason people want to call it workplace violence or other things that just strike me as flat wrong and misleading, and a little bit of Orwellian talk.”
Currently, the victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack have not received the same awards and benefits as their counterparts who are wounded or killed either through enemy action or a terrorist attack, because the perpetrator did not fit the Pentagon’s definition of an international terrorist. In 2013 Sen. Cornyn introduced the Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act, which would correct this inequity and provide these benefits to the Fort Hood victims. U.S. Reps. John R. Carter (R-TX 31) and Roger Williams (R-TX 25) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives, and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX11) sponsored the legislation as an amendment to the FY2015 Defense Authorization bill, which the committee passed unanimously.