Although the Joint Terrorism Task Force has issued a preliminary statement that Wednesday's shootings at Fort Hood
did not appear linked to terrorism, Rep. Michael McCaul says it is too early to rule anything out.
McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File" on Wednesday that the high body count made him wonder about reports that the shootings were "soldier-on-soldier" violence. At least four people, including the shooter, were killed and 14 were injured.
"But I would say it's very preliminary in this investigation, it's just started, and I would never rule out that possibility" of terrorism," McCaul said, "particularly given the track record and the unfortunate history not only at Fort Hood, but at other military bases."
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Fort Hood was the site of a 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 people dead. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan
was sentenced to death in August 2013 for that attack. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is a U.S.-born Muslim, and said he killed to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from what he called U.S. aggression.
Fox News reported
on Tuesday that a soldier had been arrested in a plot to attack Fort Hood. Fox reported Wednesday that the plot had been confirmed to be unrelated to Wednesday's shootings.
In September 2013, Aaron Alexis, a former sailor, killed 12 people at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. A bill introduced that same month by Rep. Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, would have allowed soldiers and federal civilian employees to carry weapons on base to defend themselves.
Weapons have been banned on U.S. military bases, with exceptions such as military police, since 1992. McCaul said that policy should be revisited.
"I personally think if you're trained for combat you ought to be able to carry a weapon," McCaul said. "Al-Qaida and terrorists and jihadists are targeting our military bases. That is a fact."
Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West told Fox News that personnel have to check out their own weapons even to use them at a firing range. Even then, the ammunition is kept at the firing range.
West suggested having a duty roster that could be rotated to allow some officers to have weapons on their persons.
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