Fact Check

Nidal Hasan

Was accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan 'an advisor to the Obama Homeland Security team'?

Published Nov. 17, 2009


Claim:   Accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan was "an advisor to Obama's Homeland Security team."


TRUE: Major Nidal Hasan attended one or more public roundtable meetings organized by George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute.
FALSE: Major Nidal Hasan was "an advisor to Obama's Homeland Security team."

Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2009]

Nidal Hasan on Obama's Security Task Force

Now we have a little insight into why Obama said to not jump to conclusions about Nidal Hasan and why Congressmen were not briefed before the press leak. This murdering Muslim Terrorist who killed and wounded the soldiers and civilians at Ft Hood, Texas was an advisor to Obama's Homeland Security team. Look on page 29 of the Homeland Security Institute link below.


Go to page number 29, scroll down toward the bottom on the Left Column

He is listed under "THINKING ANEW- SECURITY PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION", as Nidal Hasan, Uniformed Services University School of Medicine (8TH DOWN ON LEFT COLUMN PAGE 29).


Origins:   Among the many troubling facets of the rampage by a shooter at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009 which left 13 people dead was information indicating that the accused assailant, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, had been a participant in homeland security-related conferences about a year earlier. As the Associated Press reported, for example:

Suspected Fort Hood shooter [Nidal Hasan] has participated in homeland security conferences since 2008 at George Washington University while based in the Washington area.

Most recently, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan was listed as an attendee in January [2009] for a conference on new security priorities for the Obama administration.

Frank Cilluffo, director of the university's Homeland Security Policy Institute, says Hasan was never affiliated with the school. He attended sessions as a disaster and preventive psychiatry fellow at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine.

However, it is inaccurate to claim, as stated above, that Nidal Hasan was "an advisor to Obama's Homeland Security team." George Washington University's (GWU) Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) is a non-partisan university think tank; is not part of the Department of Homeland Security, nor was Major Nidal Hasan a member of the HSPI or its Presidential Transition Task Force. As Tom Gjelten, NPR's national security/intelligence correspondent noted, the extent of Hasan's participation in homeland security-related conferences has been greatly exaggerated — Major Nidal Hasan was not a member of GWU's homeland security task force, nor was he part of any group that played a formal role in the official Obama transition; he was merely an audience member in some public roundtable meetings attended by hundreds of participants:

This claim is so exaggerated as to be without merit.

Nidal Hasan was one of 308 people whose names appear on a list of "participants" in a series of public roundtable meetings organized by the "Presidential Transition Task Force," a project of the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University. Hasan was not himself a member of the Task Force.

Frank Cilluffo, the HSPI director, says the participants' list, published as an appendix to the Task Force report, was no more than a tally of those people who RSVP'd to a notice of the roundtable meetings, which took place between June 2008 and February 2009. "Hasan joined as a member of the audience," Cilluffo says.

The HSPI's deputy director, Daniel Kaniewski, confirmed Hasan's non-membership status as well:

Daniel Kaniewski, the institute's deputy director, confirms that Hasan attended task force meetings as an audience member, and stresses that he was not a member of the task force. "All of our events are open to the public," Kaniewski says, "and when someone RSVPs we put their name in the [report] so everyone knows who was in the room." He says institute staffers recall Hasan attending at least one task force event, and that he RSVP'd for several. "We do recall him speaking at one of our events as an audience member," he says, "but none of us recall what he actually said. Generally, our events are attended by people in the homeland security community, and Hasan had a very legitimate reason to be there. He was a fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences."

Last updated:   19 November 2009


    Memmott, Mark.   "Story Debunked About Fort Hood Suspect And Presidential Transition."

    NPR.org   6 November 2009.

    Associated Press.   "Fort Hood Suspect Went to DC Security Conferences."

    The Houston Chronicle   6 November 2009.

    Gawker.com.   "Ft. Hood Shooter Participated in Homeland Security Disaster Preparation."

    7 November 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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