Jihadists under investigation–Omar Mateen was not the first to slip through the FBI’s grasp–45h.,b4
Since early 2015, the FBI has repeatedly warned the American public that the threat of violent attacks is growing and that there are too many potential terrorists to track. Then Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim from Port St. Lucie, Florida, proved these warnings were anything but bluster. Using only firearms, Mateen killed 49 people and wounded dozens more at a popular gay nightclub.
The public needs to know what, if anything, the FBI could have done to mi stop the Orlando shooter, This is a crucial question, especially because Omar Mateen was not the first terrorist to slip through the cracks, and it is reasonable to fear won’t be the last.
On at least four occasions since 2009, a jihadist has successfully carried out an attack in the United States after being investigated by the FBI. The shooting at Fort Hood, Texas c (November 2009), the Boston Marathon bombings (April 2013), and the San Bernardino assault (December r 2015) were executed by terrorists who had been on the FBI’s radar. The Orlando massacre is the fourth such instance. In each case, there was at least some incriminating information on the suspect, but the FBI determined it was not enough to prosecute or take other action.
First, he claimed family connections to al Qaeda.” Comey explained. “He also said that he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shia terrorist organization that is a bitter enemy of the so-called Islamic State, ISIL.’
During the second investigation. The FBI learned another disturbing detail about Mateen. One witness indicated he was worried about Mateen “radicalizing,” because the future killer was watching videos of Anwar in al-Awlaki, an al Qaeda cleric who preached the virtues of martyrdom.
There are distinct parallels between the U.S. government’s handling of Mateen and its inquiries into three other notorious jihadists.
The Defense Department ignored complaints from Hasan’s colleagues about the presentation, promoting him after the fact. The FBI concluded, implausibly, that Hasan’s emails to Awlaki.
The FBI discovered that Sived Rizwan Farook, who opened fire at to a holiday party in San Bernardino, had “communicated with extremists, domestically and abroad.
America’s homeland defenses are cracking. It is no longer the case that terrorists need to be experts in clandestine tradecraft to carry out successful attacks. The system is being overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential threats, which allows known or suspected Jihadist freedom to operate.
Farook had contacts with five people whom the FBI had investigated for possible terrorist activities,” including someone associated with Al Shabaab (al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa) and another linked to the Nusra Front. “In all are five cases,” the Times reported, “the investigations were closed and no charges were filed.” Farook and his wife went on to kill 14 people in the Islamic State’s name on December 2, 2015.
In October, Comey added that the FBI was actively investigating 900 men and women who may be on the path to jihad. Most of these suspects were thought to be inspired by the Islamic State.
The president then cited the Islamic State’s repeated calls for sympathizers to carry out attacks in the West, adding that Mateen “absorbed some of that and during his killing spree pledged allegiance to ISIL.”
source–weekly std, thomas joscelyn, nyt,