WASHINGTON -- Supervisors of the gunman who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard last year were concerned about his mental state before the shooting but never reported their fears to the government, officials said today.
If the contracting company that employed Aaron Alexis had told the government about his erratic behavior, he would have lost his security clearance and his murderous rampage might been prevented, according to a Navy investigation into the shootings.
Co-workers and supervisors at IT firm The Experts, a subcontractor for Hewlett Packard (IW 500/9), noticed Alexis behaved in a way that "raised concerns about his mental stability and presented indicators that he may cause harm to others," said the report.
"This information was not reported to the government as required," the probe found. "Had this information been reported, properly adjudicated, and acted upon, Alexis' authorization to access secure facilities and information would have been revoked."
To counter the "insider threat," Hagel told reporters the department would create an automated "continuous" review of security permits issued to employees and contractors.
The system would screen those with access to classified information in real time against criminal records or other information that might raise alarms about their trustworthiness or mental state.
He also said the Pentagon would consider cutting the number of "secret" security clearances by "at least" 10%.
Hundreds of thousands of clearances are granted a year and the number has tripled since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014