From NBC's Jim Miklaszewski
NBC News has obtained a scathing report from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who says that most of the Defense Department's safeguards were "unclear" or "inadequate" to identify the threat and prevent the mass shooting that killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in December.
Army Psychiatrist Major Nidal Hassan is charged in the shootings that also wounded 31.
The Secretary's report found that:
-- DOD's commitment to the Joint Terrorism Task Force is "inadequate," which results in "inconsistent" coordination with the FBI. The Joint Task force knew well before the shooting that Hassan was in communications with an al Qaeda sympathizer and recruiter, but that was not reported to DOD or the military.
-- Commanders and supervisors do not always receive information about individuals who may commit violent acts.
-- Counterintelligence training does not address "emerging threats including self-radicalization," which may contribute to potential violence. Hasan was known to have gone off on Islamic-related religious rants, and expressed strong opposition to Muslims in the U.S. military serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-- DOD policy prohibiting certain supremacist or extremist behavior is "unclear" and "limited" when it comes to individual behavior.
-- DOD does not have a comprehensive cyberspace counterintelligence program to alert authorities to "non-foreign intelligence" on potential threats.
There are a series of recommendations to improve or establish programs to deal with each of these shortfalls that may have prevent early detection of the potential threat.
What this report does NOT address is the personal responsibility up and down Nidal Hassan's chain of command. That report recommends that a number of individuals who failed to report Hassan's erratic behavior be relieved of duty or disciplined. The list reportedly includes commanders and officers at Walter Reed, where Hassan had worked as a staff psychiatrist counseling soldiers with PTSD returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army officials tell NBC News that the report is still sitting on the Army Secretary's desk while Army lawyers struggle to determine what legal hurdles must be cleared.
*** CORRECTION *** Per Mik, Gates actions today are intended to plug the gaps in security that were part of the findings in a previous report. He did not report the gaps but rather the fixes.
Secretary Gates ordered DOD to:
-- fully institute an FBI threat reporting system across the Defense Department to handle suspicious incident activities
-- establish an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense to work directly with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force
-- strengthen significantly DOD's antiteorrism training program