In light of the Fort Hood shootings, Congress should restore federal agents’ ability to trace gun sales fully and block sales to people under investigation for terrorist activity, argue New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean in a Washington Post op-ed piece. “The fatal lesson we learned on Sept. 11 was that, if we are going to protect innocent Americans from terrorists, we must break down the walls standing between federal agencies and effective investigative practices,” Bloomberg and Kean maintain. “The attack at Fort Hood was a tragic reminder that such walls still exist.”
A law sponsored by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) gives the FBI only 24 hours to determine whether a gun purchaser is a terrorist suspect. or he or other terrorist suspects had purchased guns. When Hasan walked out of Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., the FBI had only 24 hours to recognize and flag the record — and then it was gone, forever. Bloomberg and Kean note that Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan’s communications with the radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi — an al-Qaeda sympathizer who acted as a “spiritual adviser” to two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers — had been classified as for professional reasons.