WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me. – who are investigating the circumstances surrounding the Fort Hood shootings – received a closed briefing Tuesday from the Department of Justice.


            FBI Deputy Director John Pistole led the briefing on information-sharing between the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces and other departments, including the Department of Defense; FBI policies and procedures for investigating potential terrorism-related threats; and the FBI’s understanding of the threat of violent Islamist radicalization in the United States and how it relates to members of the Armed Services.  


            "I thank the FBI for the helpful briefing today on information-sharing between the FBI and the Defense Department and how the Defense Department could use that information," Lieberman said. "The Administration is slowly responding to our information requests, but I would urge greater speed on its part so Congress can fulfill its Constitutional responsibility to the American public, both to determine what information was known and what actions were taken by the U.S. Government concerning Major Nidal Hasan before the shooting, and to recommend reforms necessary for connecting the dots and preventing future attacks."


            Collins said: “Today’s briefing was very helpful as we begin to understand the impact that information-sharing restrictions and questionable interpretations of existing policies may have played in limiting the disclosure of information about Major Hasan to the Department of Defense.  To prevent future home-based terrorist attacks, we must better understand why law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and our military personnel system may have failed in the case of Fort Hood.  To further our inquiry, however, the Administration needs to move promptly to provide access to documents and witnesses relevant to the investigation.  At the very least, our Committee should have the same level of access as those who are conducting the Administration’s internal reviews.  Those documents and witnesses are necessary to conduct the thorough and independent investigation that the patriotic soldiers and citizens who were injured and killed at Fort Hood deserve.”


            The Committee held a hearing November 19 on the Fort Hood shootings and has been investigating violent Islamist extremism and homegrown radicalization for over three years, holding 10 hearings and issuing a report on the role of the Internet in self-radicalization.