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Obama appeals for calm over Fort Hood revelat -

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ELEANOR HALL: To the United States where today President Barack Obama condemned last week's
massacre at Fort Hood in Texas.

At a memorial service at the camp, President Obama said "no faith justifies these murderous and
craven acts". But he appealed for people not to draw conclusions about the motives of the alleged
gunman, Major Nidal Hasan, who is a Muslim.

Questions are though being asked about why the US intelligence community failed to investigate
suspicions about links between major Hasan and Muslim extremists, as John Shovelan reports.

JOHN SHOVELAN: The hunt is on, not just for a motive in the Fort Hood massacre, but for an
institution to blame.

As more is learnt about the alleged gunman, his attitude toward the US military and his outbursts
about his own internal conflict between his oath of service and his religion, more and more people
are asking why didn't the FBI or the intelligence community or the Pentagon's Criminal Intelligence
Service or the Army intervene.

The NSA (National Security Agency) email intercepts between Major Hassan and a radical Imam in
Yemen were examined and a conclusion reached that they didn't warrant any further investigation.

And in what sounds like pre-9/11 all over, Bob Baer, a former CIA case officer and author, says the
Army may not have even been told about those intercepts.

ROBERT BAER: I doubt that the military command knew about the emails. I mean, these things are
intercepted abroad by the National Security Agency who holds them very tightly for a good reason.
Now the question, did army CID - criminal investigation side of the army - find out about it and
usually no.

It's this stuff is all compartmented, even after 9/11, and I don't think we can really, you know,
to say this is the Army's fault, they may not have known.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Two different terrorism task forces examined the email intercepts and also Major
Hasan's poor army performance review and saw no specific threat.

According to his relatives Major Hasan wanted to get out of the military.

Two years ago he told a conference of senior officers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre that
Muslims should be given the option of being treated as conscientious objectors and discharged from
the military.

His colleagues were aware of his view but it didn't provoke any intervention.

Critics of the Army say he should not have been considered for a deployment overseas.

The administration until today had refused to draw a link between the massacre and Hasan's Muslim
religion.

But President Obama today did link religion to the killings.

BARACK OBAMA: It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy, but this
much we do know. No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts, no just and loving god looks
upon them with favour. For what he has done we know that the killer will be met with justice in
this world and the next.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Bob Baer says he was surprised by the President's remarks.

BOB BAER: I think it was a mistake. I mean if this man, the Major, was driven by religion, the last
we want to do is evoke religion on our part. This is not a war against religion, a clash of
civilisations we're fighting. It's a war against terrorism. So to evoke god I think is a mistake on
his part.

JOHN SHOVELAN: The Senate Homeland Security Committee will begin hearings into the massacre as soon
as next week.

John Shovelan, Washington.