Via Ars Technica:
Ars Technica’s Sean Gallagher has written a blow-by-blow account of how and why the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s technological problems allowed Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan to slip through the cracks:
Because Hasan mentioned the military, the FBI agent on the Aulaqi case e-mailed the text of Hasan’s message to members of the San Diego JTTF from NCIS and DCIS.
“Here’s another e-mail sent to Aulaqi by a guy who appears to be interested in the military,” wrote the agent. “The header information suggests that his name is ‘Nidal Hasan,’ but that might not be true… Can we check to see if this guy is a military member? Also, I would like your input, from the military standpoint, on whether or not this should be disseminated further.”
An initial check didn’t find Hasan in the Defense Department’s personnel database. However, after another message from Hasan got picked up on New Year’s Day 2009, a DCIS analyst found Hasan in the Defense Employee Interactive Data System (DEIDS) and passed a printout of his information to the investigation team. The database identified Hasan as a “commissioned officer”—but because “commissioned” was abbreviated as “comm.”, agents were concerned that he was a communications officer and would have access to Information Intelligence Reports (IIRs).
As a result, the data on Hasan wasn’t shared with the Army. Instead, it was forwarded to the Washington, DC field office of the FBI and the lead was flagged to FBI headquarters.
Read the entire (and entirely frustrating) story at Ars Technica.