Image: US Army Maj. Hasan
Reuters
Army Major Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 soldiers and wounding 32 others in the Fort Hood massacre in November 2009.
Image: Jim Miklasszewski
By Jim Miklaszewski Chief Pentagon correspondent
NBC News
updated 3/10/2011 6:25:59 PM ET 2011-03-10T23:25:59

Army Secretary John McHugh has ordered disciplinary action against nine officers for allegedly failing to flag any potential warning signs related to Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in November 2009, NBC News has learned.

The nine officers were in Hasan's chain of command at the Walter Reed Medical Center and the military's medical school. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly showed signs of Islamic radicalization that were ignored by superior officers.

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While the Army's investigation found "no single event" that led to the Fort Hood shootings, "certain officers" in Hasan's chain of command "failed to meet the high standards expected of them," McHugh found.

McHugh also ordered the Army Surgeon General to review the Army Medical Commands training and evaluation of all medical officers. Investigators allege that Hasan's evaluation reports were inflated so he could be promoted and continue practicing at a time when the Army had a shortage of psychiatrists.

Since the action "non-judicial punishment" is not criminal, and the nine accused officers have the right to appeal, the Army is prohibited from releasing the identities of those facing discipline.

In February, a bipartisan Senate report found that the Department of Defense and the FBI had enough information about Hasan to have discharged him from the military before the deadly shooting spree that also left 32 wounded.

The report on the Texas army base shooting, authored by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and top Republican Susan Collins, R-Maine, said that both agencies were aware of Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism "but failed both to understand and to act on it."

"Although both the public and the private signs of Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism while on active duty were known to government officials, a string of failures prevented these officials from intervening against him prior to the attack," the report said in its executive summary.

The senators said their investigation found "specific and systemic failures" in the government's handling of the case and cited additional concerns about possible broader systemic issues. "The FBI and DoD together failed to recognize and to link the information that they possessed about Hasan," they wrote.

Hasan's move toward violent Islamist extremism "was on full display to his superiors and colleagues during his military medical training,” according to the report’s findings. One instructor referred to Hasan as "a ticking time bomb."

"Not only was no action taken to discipline or discharge him, but also his Officer Evaluation Reports sanitized his obsession with violent Islamist extremism into praiseworthy research on counterterrorism."

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In a stinging charge against the Defense Department's handling of the matter, the report added, "DOD possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but DoD failed to take action against him."

While the inquiry credited one FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force unit for initially flagging Hasan because he was communicating with a suspected terrorist, it criticized a second unit's follow-through. According to the report, the second JTTF unit "failed to identify the totality of Hasan's communications" and didn't inform Army security about them.

"Instead, the JTTF inquiry relied on Hasan's erroneous Officer Evaluation Reports and ultimately dismissed his communications as legitimate research," the senators write.

The report suggests that because the two FBI units had different views of the severity of other unit's findings, the matter was eventually dropped "rather than cause a bureaucratic confrontation."

"The JTTFs never raised the dispute to FBI headquarters for resolution, and entities in FBI headquarters responsible for coordination among field offices never acted. As a result, the FBI's inquiry into Hasan ended prematurely,” it said.

NBC's Ken Strickland contributed to this report.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

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Photos: Islam in America

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  1. Sin City may seem like a strange place for a mosque, but the Islamic Society of Nevada is one of at least six in Las Vegas. Here, Naim Shah Jr., Dr. Aslam Abdullah, head of the ISN, and Imam Fateen Seifullah have a discussion in the parking lot of the mosque, the only one in the city with a traditional minaret. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A woman wearing the traditional and conservative Muslim veil called a niqab crosses a street in uptown Manhattan. The wearing of the veils is based on a section of the Quran, Islam's holy book, instructing men and women to dress modestly. For women, that is generally interpreted as requiring them to cover everything except their face, hands and feet when in the presence of men they are not related to or married to. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Marwan Kamel, left, and Sahar Abu Saqer discuss a new song that they plan to play at their next show in Chicago. Both Kamel, who is of Syrian descent, and Saqer, who is of Palestinian descent, are Muslim Americans and members of the Al Thawra ("The Revolution" in Arabic), a punk band, and are both practicing Muslims. They are part of a burgeoning Islamic punk rock scene devoted to creating music related to Islam and the Middle East. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Marwan Kamel, leader of the Muslim punk band Al Thawra, performs the Maghreb prayer at the Islamic Community Center of Chicago. This prayer ends the fasting day during the holy month of Ramadan. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The top of New York's iconic Empire State Building is lit with green lights to honor the Muslim holiday of Eid, the biggest festival on the Muslim calendar, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. "The lighting will become an annual event in the same tradition of the yearly lightings for Christmas and Hannukah," according to a statement from the city issued in 2007, the first year the building was illuminated for Eid. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Shiite and Sunni Muslims protest against terrorism in Washington, D.C., denouncing countries like Saudi Arabia for sponsoring fundamentalist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sunni and Shia Islam are the two major denominations of Islam, and members hold different religious beliefs, practices, traditions and customs. Relations between the two have been marked by both cooperation and conflict, often with deadly violence. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Imams and rabbis from the largest cities in the U.S. share a bus in midtown Manhattan during the National Summit of Imams and Rabbis, an event jointly organized by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and the Islamic Cultural Center of New York. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Worshippers attend a reading at the Al-Hikmah mosque in Queens, N.Y. The mosque is predominately attended by Muslims of Indonesian descent. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Shimon Ibn Ibrahim photographs a Yemeni woman during a Thanksgiving celebration on Long Island, N.Y., at the home of Hofstra University Professor Dan Varisco. Ibrahim, who was raised by his adoptive parents as a Hassidic Jew, was attending his first Thanksgiving after converting to Islam. At the celebration, he met other Muslims from Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, Indonesia and Iraq. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Mohamed Al Thaibani, who immigrated to the U.S. from Yemen, stands in his living room in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a portrait from his youth and other traditional furniture from Yemen in the background. Sixty-five percent of American Muslims are foreign-born, according to the Pew Research Center. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A Muslim woman with dual U.S. and Yemeni citizenship protests against Yemen’s government outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Nov. 30, 2007. The woman was part of a group of Yemenis from the southern part of the country protesting what they say is unequal treatment by the government in the north. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Each Saturday, Shamse Ali, an imam at the 96th Street Mosque in New York City, teaches classes for new converts to Islam. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the U.S., with 21 percent of American Muslims being converts to the religion, according to the Pew Research Center. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Ahmed Nasser, a New York Police Department community affairs officer, talks to a colleague in the basement of a police station. Nasser, a police detective of Yemeni descent, produced a movie intended to familiarize NYPD officers with the religion. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
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  15. Sadam Ali trains at a gym on New York's Coney Island. Born in Brooklyn of Yemeni parents, Sadam represented the USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a member of the U.S. boxing team. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Kareem Salama, born of Egyptian parents, is a Muslim country singer originally from Oklahoma, He carries his guitar as he leaves his parents’ home in Richmond, Texas. (Karim Ben Khelifa) Back to slideshow navigation
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