Maj. Hasan made some of the contacts while visiting known jihadist chat rooms on the Internet, according to one of The Times’ sources, a senior FBI official. He said that several people with whom Maj. Hasan was in contact had been the focus of investigations by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The other source, a military intelligence official, said those in contact with Maj. Hasan are located both in the U.S. and overseas. The official said they are “broadly known and characterized as Islamic extremists if not necessarily al Qaeda.”…

The military intelligence official said, “Those connections, except for Awlaki, could be explained innocently. But all of them together form a very concerning picture.”…

“It’s way too early” to be saying Maj. Hasan acted alone, the military intelligence official said, though he acknowledged that Maj. Hasan may just have been inspired by al Qaeda or other Muslim jihad groups without being under their operational control.