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Webster tapped to lead Ft. Hood probe

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Former FBI director William Webster has been tapped to review the agency's performance in the run-up to last month's Fort Hood, Texas, shootings, sources say.

Webster has been asked by current FBI chief Robert Mueller III to carry out an independent examination of the actions taken by terrorism task forces that had been monitoring the e-mails of the accused shooter, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, government officials familiar with the move told The Washington Post Tuesday.

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The newspaper said Webster's appointment could indicate Mueller is concerned about whether two Joint Terrorism Task Forces in San Diego and Washington -- which had read e-mails allegedly sent between Hasan and radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki -- responded sufficiently.

The Post said Hasan had written Awlaki about 18 times between December 2008 and May 2009, a few months before he was accused of killing 13 people at Foot Hood and wounding nearly three dozen more.

Citing unnamed government sources, the newspaper said FBI agents in San Diego who were monitoring Awlaki's e-mail traffic forwarded two of Hasan's messages to the Washington task force, which concluded they were innocent and in line with Hasan's research on Muslim soldiers and mental health issues.

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