U.S. military doctors overseeing Nidal Malik Hasan's medical training were concerned he was "psychotic" and possibly capable of killing other American soldiers, before the Army major allegedly went on a deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.
Psychiatrists and medical officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center held a series of meetings beginning in the Spring of 2008 to discuss serious concerns about his work and behavior, National Public Radio reported.
One of the questions they asked: Was Hasan psychotic?
"Put it this way," one official told NPR. "Everybody felt that if you were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, you would not want Nidal Hasan in your foxhole."
One official who participated in the discussions reportedly told others he was worried that if Hasan was deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, he might leak covert military information to Islamic extremists, NPR reported.
Another official "wondered aloud" to colleagues whether Hasan might be capable of killing fellow soldiers in the same way a Muslim sergeant in 2003 had set off grenades at a base in Kuwait, killing two and wounding 14, the radio network reported.
The officials who discussed Hasan's status were unaware — as some top Walter Reed hospital officials were — that intelligence agencies had been tracking Hasan's e-mails to a radical imam since December 2008, NPR said.
Officials considered kicking Hasan out of the program but chose not to partly because firing a doctor is a "cumbersome and lengthy" process that involves hearings and potential legal conflict, sources told NPR.
Officials also believed they lacked solid evidence that Hasan was unstable and were concerned they could be accused of discriminating against him because of his Islamic identity or views.