rainbow peace warrior flag : harvey milk plaza, castro, san francisco (2013)This is the fourth in a series of posts I plan about the recent Orlando gay-nightclub shooting, by an American Muslim who appears to have been influenced by ISIS and other violent Islamists. By now my readers will surely know a great deal about this horrific event. The topic of this post is:

The FBI Blew It … Again!

I’ve blogged previously about the clusterfuck which is the US anti-terror effort. As I’ve said, it’s mostly all just “security theater,” pointless exercises intended to make people think they’re being kept safe, when in fact, they’re not. White-powder freakouts do nothing for anyone except cause needless anxiety and inconvenience.

You may recall the background of the Boston Marathon bombers. Russian intelligence had found the elder of the two was likely radicalized; they contacted the FBI, which ostensibly “investigated” him, but closed the book without doing anything. He and his brother subsequently carried out a devastating terror attack. Well, as many outlets — including the New York Times — have reported, the Orlando shooter had been on the FBI’s radar too … not just once, but twice (WebCite cached article):

Two years after [the shooter’s divorce], the Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in after reports from [his] co-workers that he, the American-born son of Afghan immigrants, had suggested he may have had terrorist ties. The F.B.I. interviewed him twice, but after surveillance, records checks and witness interviews, agents were unable to verify any terrorist links and closed their investigation.

Then, in 2014, the F.B.I. discovered a possible tie between [the Orlando shooter] and Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who had grown up in nearby Vero Beach and then became the first American suicide bomber in Syria, where he fought with the Nusra Front, a Qaeda-aligned militant group. Again, the F.B.I. closed its inquiry after finding “minimal” contact between the two men.

After the terrorist investigations cleared [the shooter], he maintained both his Florida security-officer license and his job. He also kept his Florida firearms license, and within the last few days he legally purchased a handgun and a “long gun.”

In the cases of both the Boston bomber and the Orlando shooter, the FBI had been handed leads on proverbial silver platters: Others had already done some work (in the case of one, the Russian government; in the latter, his own co-workers) and provided evidence of potential radicalization. And in both cases the FBI went through the motions of “investigating” — whatever that may have entailed. But also, in both cases, the FBI decided nothing was afoot and did nothing. Clearly, however, they were demonstrably wrong — both times. Something was, indeed, afoot with both of these terrorists … even so, the FBI, after looking into them, apparently never noticed any of it.

How could that be? The US has the most pervasive and comprehensive intelligence operation the world has ever known. They have the benefit of laws that permit them warrantless access to information during anti-terror investigations. There are virtually no limits to how deeply they can dive into a person’s life, if that person is suspected of having even a minor connection to terrorism.

Think about this the next time you’re in an airport and are asked to take your belt and shoes off, or if you see a frail 90-year-old lady being wanded by TSA agents. Just think about it. Think about the hurdles they make every American jump through, in the name of keeping us safe from terror … yet, when they actually have evidence someone might be a terrorist, they turn away and do nothing.

Just think about it, and wonder how rational all of this is. I suggest it’s not rational at all. If anything, it’s pointless and maybe even counter-productive (because it gives everyone a sense of security we don’t actually have).

I had expected there to be an investigation into why the FBI never caught onto the elder of the Boston Marathon bombers a few years ago, but that never materialized. So I don’t expect there will be any investigation into how the Orlando shooter squeezed out from under them, either. More’s the pity.

Photo credit: torbakhopper, via Flickr.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.