Comey Is Not the One Whose Unorthodox Actions Are Casting a Cloud over the Election

(Reuters photo: Brian Snyder)

(Reuters photo: Brian Snyder)

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, October 31, 2016:

How rich of Hillary Clinton to complain now that FBI director James Comey is threatening the democratic process by commenting publicly about a criminal investigation on the eve of an election.

Put aside that Comey did not say a single thing last week that implicates Clinton in a crime. The biggest coup for Clinton in the waning months of the campaign has been Comey’s decision not to prosecute her — a decision outside the responsibilities of the FBI director and publicly announced in a manner that contradicts law-enforcement protocols. There has been nothing more irregular, nothing that put law enforcement more in the service of politics, than that announcement. Yet, far from condemning it, Mrs. Clinton has worn it like a badge of honor since July. Indeed, she has contorted it into a wholesale exoneration, which it most certainly was not.

Just to remind those whose memories seem so conveniently to fail, Comey is the FBI director, not a Justice Department prosecutor, much less the attorney general. The FBI is not supposed to exercise prosecutorial discretion. The FBI is not supposed to decide whether the subject of a criminal investigation gets indicted. The FBI, moreover, is not obligated to make recommendations about prosecution at all; its recommendations, if it chooses to make them, are not binding on the Justice Department; and when it does make recommendations, it does so behind closed doors, not on the public record.

Yet, in the Clinton e-mails investigation, it was Comey who made the decision not to indict Clinton. Comey, furthermore, made the decision in the form of a public recommendation. In effect, it became The Decision because Attorney General Loretta Lynch had disgraced herself by furtively meeting with Mrs. Clinton’s husband a few days before Comey announced his recommendation. Comey, therefore, gave Mrs. Clinton a twofer: an unheard-of public proclamation that she should not be indicted by the head of the investigative agency; and a means of taking Lynch off the hook, which allowed the decision against prosecution to be portrayed as a careful weighing of evidence rather than a corrupt deal cooked up in the back of a plane parked on a remote tarmac.

Now, suddenly, Mrs. Clinton is worried about law-enforcement interference in politics. And her voice is joined by such allies as Jamie Gorelick (President Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general) and Larry Thompson (Comey’s predecessor as President George W. Bush’s deputy attorney general and an outspoken opponent of Donald Trump). Like Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Gorelick and Mr. Thompson were delighted by Director Comey as long as his departures from orthodoxy were helping Clinton’s candidacy. But now, as they wrote in the Washington Post on Saturday, they are perturbed by the threat Comey purportedly poses to “long-standing and well-established traditions limiting disclosure of ongoing investigations . . . in a way that might be seen as influencing an election.”

I will repeat what I said yesterday (at PJ Media) about the Justice Department’s received wisdom that the election calendar should factor into criminal investigations:

Law-enforcement people will tell you that taking action too close to Election Day can affect the outcome of the vote; therefore, it should not be done because law enforcement is supposed to be apolitical. But of course, not taking action one would take but for the political timing is as political as it gets. To my mind, it is more political because the negatively affected candidate is denied any opportunity to rebut the law-enforcement action publicly.

The unavoidable fact of the matter is that, through no fault of law enforcement, investigations of political corruption are inherently political. Thus, I’ve always thought the best thing to do is bring the case when it’s ready, don’t bring it if it’s not ready, and don’t worry about the calendar any more than is required by the principle of avoiding the appearance of impropriety.

Now, as I also discussed in that same column, the problem with which we are currently grappling is caused by Comey’s initial flouting of protocol back in July — the one that thrilled the Clinton camp. There should never be any law-enforcement commentary at any time about a criminal investigation in which charges have not been filed publicly. The FBI and Justice Department should resist confirming or denying the existence of investigations; and if (as frequently happens) it becomes publicly known that an investigation is being conducted, law enforcement should still refuse to comment on the status of the investigation or any developments in it.

The public does not have a right to know that an investigation is under way. The subjects of an investigation do not have a right to know whether the investigation is continuing or has been “closed” — a status I must put in quotes because any dormant investigation can be revived at the drop of a hat if new information warrants doing so.

As Director Comey and the rest of us are being reminded, the demands of ethical law enforcement are forever in tension with the currents of partisan politics. In law enforcement, one is always required to correct the record if a representation made to a court, Congress, or some other tribunal is rendered inaccurate by new information. To put it kindly, correcting misrepresentations is not a habit of our politicians.

There is a very good argument — I would say, an irrefutable argument — that Comey should never have pronounced that the Clinton e-mails investigation was closed (in fact, it would have been appropriate if he had made no public statement about the investigation at all). But having made that pronouncement — which, again, Mrs. Clinton was thankful to have and which she has ceaselessly exploited — he was obliged by law-enforcement principles to amend it when it was no longer true. What if he hadn’t done so? Then, after the election, when it inevitably emerged that the investigation was actually open, those who had relied on his prior assertion that it was closed would rightly have felt betrayed.

For now, everyone ought to take a deep breath. All we have here is a statement that an investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed, and none appear to be on the horizon, let alone imminent.

The Clinton camp is in no position to cry foul about anything. In announcing his recommendation against indictment, Comey not only gave Clinton the benefit of every doubt (preposterously so when one reads the FBI’s reports). He also based his decision primarily on his legal analysis of a criminal statute, which is far removed from the responsibilities of the FBI. Indeed, Comey gilded the lily by claiming that no reasonable prosecutor would disagree with his analysis — which was a truly outrageous claim coming from an investigator with no prosecutorial responsibilities, even if it did not inspire a lecture from Ms. Gorelick and Mr. Thompson on Justice Department traditions.

On the other hand, Comey hasn’t said anything more than that the investigation of the mishandling of classified information by Mrs. Clinton and her underlings remains pending. That is a true statement. Again, it does not mean charges will be filed. Indeed, I didn’t hear Director Comey say he had changed his mind about the requirements for proving guilt under the espionage act. The fact that I think he is dead wrong on that subject is beside the point, since the Justice Department has endorsed his reasoning. So it’s not like the recovery of additional classified e-mails from a Weiner/Abedin computer — if that happens, which we are not likely to know for a while — would automatically result in indictments.

It is fair enough to say that Director Comey should not have started down the wayward road of making public comments about pending investigations in which no charges have been filed. Such comments inexorably lead to the need to make more comments when new information arises. Not that the director needs advice from me, but at this point, he ought to announce that — just as in any other investigation — there will be no further public statements about the Clinton investigation unless and until charges are filed, which may never happen.

As for the election, Mrs. Clinton is under the cloud of suspicion not because of Comey but because of her own egregious misconduct. She had no right to know back in July whether the investigation was closed. She has no right to know it now. Like any other criminal suspect, she simply has to wait . . . and wonder . . . and worry.

There were other worthy Democrats, but the party chose to nominate the subject of a criminal investigation. That is the Democrats’ own recklessness; Jim Comey is not to blame. And if the American people are foolish enough to elect an arrantly corrupt and compromised subject of a criminal investigation as our president, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

The Cyber Threat: FBI Tries to Close Gaps in Clinton Email Probe

AP

AP

FBI reopens probe based on new emails containing secrets or evidence of foreign hacking.

Washington Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, October 31, 2016:

Unanswered questions are what officials call gaps—a lack of information or intelligence that render judgments incomplete. FBI Director James Comey last week took the extraordinary step of re-opening the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server in a bid to close some of those gaps—11 days before Americans go to the polls to elect the next president.

Comey wrote to congressional leaders on October 28 to “supplement” earlier testimony in which he said the FBI had completed its investigation of Clinton.

An unrelated FBI sex crime investigation into former congressman Anthony Weiner, husband of Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin, produced new emails “that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey said.

Investigators briefed Comey on the new emails on October 27 and he agreed to reopen the probe in order to check whether the emails contain classified information and whether they are important to the original investigation.

“Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your committees about our efforts in light of previous testimony,” he stated.

The letter gave no further explanation. However, based on past FBI statements and documents, the probe likely involves one of two areas of the investigation: New information on the government secrets transmitted in emails or new evidence of foreign hacking.

The Los Angeles Times, quoting Comey “confidants,” reported the FBI director wrote the letter under pressure from multiple fronts. The fronts included the Justice Department, current and former FBI agents, and Democrats and Republicans. Comey’s letter was an attempt to deal with the politically charged Clinton email probe in a transparent manner, according to the report.

The reopening of the investigation raises new questions about whether the FBI conducted the original inquiry properly, or closed it before all the facts had been learned.

FBI investigation documents made public under pressure from Congress revealed that there had been several shortcomings to the original probe.

One FBI document in the case states the probe was launched to determine if classified information was criminally mishandled and whether foreign intelligence services or governments accessed it.

The document says “investigative limitations”—namely the failure to obtain all the devices and computer components used by Clinton—”prevented the FBI from conclusively determining whether classified information transmitted and stored on Clinton’s personal server systems was compromised via cyber intrusion or other means.”

It noted that “hostile foreign actors” gained access to private emails Clinton had sent and received from an associate.

The FBI also said there were literal gaps—as opposed to a shortage of information—in Clinton emails between January and March 2009.

Moreover, the FBI was unable to study 13 mobile handheld devices and two iPads used by Clinton while secretary of state.

The year-long investigation began after the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general disclosed that 40 emails found on the Clinton private server contained classified intelligence information.

It was later revealed that among the secrets placed on the server and exchanged in unclassified and unsecure emails were top-secret methods used to order drone strikes. Other data involved secrets about North Korea’s nuclear program.

The drone strike information was most concerning to intelligence officials. Failing to respond to the compromise threatened to undermine the government’s large-scale secrecy and information classification system.

Information concerning target selection for drone strikes is classified above top secret in what are called Special Access Programs—compartments so sensitive that officials are permitted to lie in order to prevent their disclosure.

The investigation was completed within a year, and Comey went public with its findings in July. Included in the statement he made was the controversial recommendation that, although Clinton had been extremely careless and had likely met the “gross negligence” legal standard for the crime of mishandling classified information, he was not recommending prosecution.

Comey based the conclusion on his personal view that no reasonable prosecutor would take the case to a grand jury. The politicized Justice Department and Attorney General Loretta Lynch quickly accepted his decision.

Comey issued a statement on July 5 that revealed the investigation was limited to two areas. The first concerned whether classified information was stored or transmitted illegally while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. The second involved whether foreign intelligence services or hackers stole the information, which, from a cyber security perspective, had effectively been placed in the open.

“Consistent with our counterintelligence responsibilities, we have also investigated to determine whether there is evidence of computer intrusion in connection with the personal e-mail server by any foreign power, or other hostile actors,” he said.

Comey provided a qualified answer that “we did not find direct evidence” of a break-in by foreign cyber spies.

The FBI probe involved interviews with people who handled the server and people who sent the emails. It also involved technical analysis of the available computer systems.

With the presidential race tightening in the final days, the reopening of the Clinton email investigation was a political bombshell.

For Clinton, who has battled questions about whether she has the integrity to be president, the news of the reopened FBI investigation hit hard. Clinton and her campaign called for the FBI to release more information about the action, and Democratic supporters accused Comey of seeking to influence the outcome of the election. On Sunday, Clinton tweeted that the FBI had not reopened the investigation and stated that the new emails were not hers.

“Yesterday [sic], FBI Director Comey bowed to partisan pressure and released a vague and inappropriate letter to Congress. What you need to know,” she stated.

The news energized the campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump. After the story broke, Trump posted a message to Twitter that stated “we must not let #CrookedHillary take her CRIMINAL SCHEME into the Oval Office #DrainTheSwamp.” And on Sunday, Trump stated: “Hillary and the Dems loved and praised FBI Director Comey just a few days ago. Original evidence was overwhelming, should not have delayed!”

Unless Comey is pressured to disclose more information, the investigation likely will go beyond Election Day.

Also see:

NYT: Refugees Pose Overwhelming Challenge to Europe’s Police

capture-4-2

Overwhelmed by refugees about whom they know nothing, Euro police increasingly rely on American intelligence. Is there an alternative?

CounterJihad, October 25, 2016:

The New York Times has a story highlighting the problems facing European police agencies.  It turns on a particular case out of Germany, one in which a refugee turned terrorist without the European police having any idea.  Fortunately, American intelligence tipped them to the terrorist in question before he could stage the attack he was planning.  German attempts to arrest him failed, however, and he escaped back into the flood of Syrian refugees.  Only when other refugees turned him in were they able to capture him.

And then, before they could interrogate him for any intelligence, he hung himself.

The takeaway for the Times is that the Europeans are too reliant on American capacities.

[A] series of [attacks] in Germany, France and elsewhere has exposed the lack of knowledge about the backgrounds of many, if not most, of the newcomers and the potential for them to be radicals or to be radicalized after arriving in Europe.

On both fronts, the situation is creating a particular political tension in Germany. The National Security Agency’s activities are under fierce scrutiny in Germany by a seemingly never-ending special parliamentary committee.

“American agencies are Europe’s best counterterrorists,” said Peter Neumann, a terrorism expert at King’s College London.

Germany’s lawmakers have passed a new spy law that is intended to address some of these challenges.  They are not the first to do so.  In the wake of the Belgian attacks, Italy’s Prime Minister called for a more unified European response to terrorism.  One of the criticisms facing Europe’s response is that it lacks a central police agency like the FBI that can act directly on terror threats across national borders the way the FBI does across state borders.

On the other hand, Marc Tyrell at Small Wars Journal rightly points out that a higher-level bureaucracy is often necessarily blind to street-level indications of danger.  Likewise, the classification of information within major Federal agencies like the CIA and FBI often means that communication doesn’t flow downward to local police agencies either.  There is no guarantee that adding another level of protection will work, especially not if that level of protection is placed behind classification walls.

Likewise, there is a concern about focusing on the right set of dangers.  Spying resources are only helpful if they are properly targeted, but Europe has so far seemed inclined to focus its increased resources on its own citizens instead of the influx of refugees.  For example, Germany has engaged in police raids targeting those who express concern about the refugee influx.  In London, an expensive new cyber security unit — targeting online activity of citizens — will focus not on radical Islam but on “cyber hate speech.”

The scale of the crisis also poses challenges.  Belgian police correctly identified some of the Brussels bombers, but had to drop its inquiry into them because it could not spare the resources for that particular case.  German police are likewise facing a crime wave that is overwhelming their available resources.  Leaked reports indicate that German police only expect this refugee crime wave to worsen.

Even here in the United States, with its advanced security infrastructure, the task is beyond police resources.

[O]f these 1,000 or so suspected terrorists, the FBI only has the resources to thoroughly monitor a select few. The precise number of round-the-clock FBI surveillance teams is classified… but sources familiar with Bureau resources say that the number is “shockingly” low, only in the dozens. At one point last year, sources reported that the Bureau was watching 48 people intensely, a number that is towards the upper limit of the FBI’s regular surveillance resources.

That means that even of the 1,000 American citizens and residents that the government believes are most at-risk of executing a terror attacks—the top .0003 percent most radical threats among the nation’s 330,000,000 residents—only around 5 to 10 percent are under 24-hour watch.

The United States is far richer than most nations in Europe.  It has a government committed to building out the security state.  It has far fewer Muslims, both in raw numbers and as a percentage, and it has accepted only a small percentage of the refugees that Europe has done.  If the United States simply cannot keep up with the terror threat as it stands today, Europe cannot hope to do so.

And that is with the crisis as it stands.  The upcoming Russian-led offensive against Aleppo will bring a new wave of refugees.  The offensive against Mosul, meanwhile, is expected to produce at least a million more just by itself.  Some other solution than admitting floods of refugees, and then trying to police them, must be adopted.

Did the State Department Float a Quid Pro Quo to the FBI over Hillary’s E-mail Scandal?

patrick-kennedy-state-department-quid-pro-quo-fbi-not-bribery-just-corruption

There is overwhelming evidence that Clinton, Kennedy, and their confederates corruptly obstructed judicial FOIA proceedings and congressional investigations. But there is no bribery case.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, October 19, 2016:

This is a long column, so let me cut to the chase. Hillary Clinton’s circle, including Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s under secretary of state for management, absolutely subordinated national security to politics and broke federal law. But in the “quid pro quo” controversy with the FBI, they are not guilty of bribery. Because the term “quid pro quo” was used — by an FBI agent, in an understandable but overwrought description of a half-baked arrangement proposed by another FBI agent, not Kennedy — commentators are focused on the wrong crime.

The right crime is conspiracy to obstruct justice and congressional investigations. The Clinton camp clearly and corruptly pressured government officials to downgrade the intelligence classification of documents in order to bolster Mrs. Clinton’s false claim that she never trafficked in classified materials on her private e-mail system. Further, they fraudulently exploited exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in order to bury documents that might harm Clinton — including documents on the Benghazi terrorist attack — such that the public would never see them. Their motive was political — i.e., to minimize the damage of Clinton’s felonious mishandling of classified information — but the intentional effect of their corrupt actions was to obstruct both FOIA cases and Congress’s oversight of the State Department.

Kennedy improperly pressured the FBI to declassify and help him conceal a classified Benghazi e-mail. Nevertheless, after studying the pertinent FBI reports from the batch released on Monday, I conclude that he did not offer a bribe to entice the FBI’s cooperation — the alleged quid pro quo in which, for downgrading the document’s classification, the State Department would reward the FBI with workspace in countries where the bureau’s presence was prohibited or extremely limited.

Instead, I surmise that a very foolish FBI agent — who was frustrated by Kennedy’s unresponsiveness about foreign postings for the FBI and who was ignorant of the magnitude of what Kennedy was asking him to do — loosely floated a potential quid pro quo to Kennedy . . . not the other way around. Moreover, this agent immediately alerted Kennedy that he could not help him once he finally realized the document in question (a) related to the Benghazi terrorist attack in which four Americans including the U.S. ambassador had been killed, and (b) had been classified as “SECRET/NOFORN” (i.e., secret information not releasable to foreign nationals) by the bureau’s counterterrorism division.

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How Hillary’s lawyers ran roughshod over the FBI

Hillary Clinton and FBI Director James Comey Photo: Getty Images; AP

Hillary Clinton and FBI Director James Comey Photo: Getty Images; AP

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, October 19, 2016:

Last August, FBI officials paid a visit to Hillary Clinton’s lawyers’ office in Washington and begged to see six laptop computers containing the former secretary of state’s classified e-mails. They were told to take a hike, and they did.

Clinton’s lawyers “declined to provide consent” for the bureau to even search the laptops, let alone seize them, claiming they may contain “privileged communications.”

Instead of seeking to subpoena the evidence, the FBI meekly “wished to arrange for secure storage of them in a manner agreeable to both the FBI and the attorneys” — even though the attorneys lacked authorization to handle the material, which included Top Secret information.

While arrogantly stiff-arming the FBI, Clinton’s lawyers “admitted that the e-mails contained on these laptops had been viewed by attorneys who did not have a security clearance at the time,” a newly released FBI report of the incident reveals.

The embarrassing scene, which played out at the law offices of Williams & Connolly, is just one of many examples of how lawyers loyal to Clinton ran roughshod over the FBI investigation.

In the end, investigators were able to see only e-mails from certain dates on laptops owned by top Clinton aides Heather Samuelson and Cheryl Mills, who conducted the e-mail seek-and-destroy mission for Clinton. After the restricted viewing, they had to agree to destroy the evidence as part of outrageous side deals FBI Director James Comey agreed to honor, even after these key witnesses were immunized against prosecution.

Mills and Samuelson are represented by former Justice Department attorney Beth Wilkinson, a longtime Democratic booster. Wilkinson also is defending two other former State Department officials central to the FBI investigation: former deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines, who served as Clinton’s spokesman.

Veteran FBI agents say letting one attorney represent four subjects is unheard of in a criminal investigation. The highly unusual arrangement not only allows witnesses the opportunity to share information and corroborate their stories, but it makes it virtually impossible for the FBI to put pressure on one of them to cooperate against the others.

If one of the clients ended up in criminal jeopardy, Wilkinson would never let that client say something adverse about any of her other clients. In effect, Comey let all these important witnesses — Mills, Samuelson, Reines and Sullivan — collude and coordinate their testimony before his agents ever got a crack at them.

Sure enough, partially declassified summaries of their interviews with FBI agents show that all four hewed to the same unbelievable line that they did not know their boss had a private e-mail address hosted on a private server until they heard about it in the news.

A cabal of lawyers also arranged a joint defense for Clinton inside State after she left and as Congress sought her e-mails in the Benghazi investigation.

An FBI staffer believed the State Department was shielding Clinton.

“[Redacted] believes STATE has an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the CLINTON emails in order to protect STATE interests and those of CLINTON,” FBI notes read.

According to interview summaries from the FBI, staffers came under “immense pressure to review quickly and not label anything as classified.”

The team normally responsible for determining which records should be kept secret said lawyers “conducted their own review” of Clinton’s e-mails — and did not consult with the CIA and FBI but with lawyers at the White House and Justice Department.

The team “felt intimidated when they used or suggested the use of the [classified] exemption on any of the 296 [Benghazi] e-mails,” according to “302” interview notes.

State lawyers gave a thumb drive containing the archive of Clinton’s e-mails to her lawyers at Williams & Connolly, but would not provide copies to the State Department’s own inspector general or to diplomatic-security officials, even though they requested them.

Career bureaucrats “were suspicious” of the lawyers John Kerry tapped to deal with congressional committees seeking Clinton e-mails, because some of them previously worked for entities that “appeared to create a conflict of interest,” the FBI said.

The names of those entities were redacted, and are among the more than 4,500 redactions in the 350 pages of documents released in the FBI investigation.

Comey has testified that he could find no evidence of ill intent by Clinton and her minions in his year-long probe of her e-mails. But his own FBI staffers complained that State officials pressured them to downgrade the classification of Clinton e-mails, even offering a “quid pro quo.” If that’s not ill-intent, what is?

Paul Sperry is a former DC bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily.

Did the FBI chief lie to Congress about the Hillary email probe?

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, October 12, 2016:

Congressional leaders investigating the FBI’s suspiciously inept investigation of ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mails are turning their attention to FBI chief James Comey’s truthfulness. Did he mislead them? Did he perjure himself?

Two days after clearing Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, Comey went to Capitol Hill and explained his reasons for coming to that stunning conclusion. Testifying under oath, he claimed to be an open book: “I think transparency matters tremendously.”

But he not only held back critical details about his investigation, he repeatedly misrepresented his actions and findings.

In his July 7 testimony, Comey assured Congress that he examined all the evidence of Clinton’s lawyers and aides deleting her e-mails, and concluded they weren’t trying to hide anything. “We did not find evidence to indicate that they did the erasure to conceal things of any sort,” he swore. “We didn’t find evidence of evil intent to obstruct justice there.”

“In his statements before Congress, Director Comey repeatedly assured us that the FBI investigated whether charges of obstruction of justice and intentional destruction of records were merited,” the chairmen of three House committees and a Senate committee complained last week in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “The facts of this investigation call those assertions into question.”

Congress has now obtained letters detailing unprecedented immunity agreements and side deals with multiple witnesses in the case — including one in which Comey agreed to prevent his investigators from reviewing any e-mails from Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to Clinton’s server administrator Paul Combetta generated in late 2014 and early 2015. The off-limits correspondence, the chairmen point out, could reveal information “directing the destruction or concealment of federal records.”

Astonishingly, before Comey agreed to the June side deal with Mills’ attorney, he “already knew of the conference calls between Secretary Clinton’s attorneys and Mr. Combetta, his use of BleachBit, and the resulting deletions, further casting doubt on why the FBI would enter into such a limited evidentiary scope of review.”

In other words, Comey never really investigated Clinton and her aides for obstruction of justice, as he claimed. Lacking access to key evidence, he couldn’t have explored the possibility, though the circumstances were beyond suspicious.

“The sequence of events leading up to the destruction of Secretary Clinton’s e-mails — the conference call, the work ticket, the use of BleachBit, and [Combetta’s] subsequent refusal to discuss the conference call with the FBI — raises questions about whether Secretary Clinton, acting through her attorneys [including Mills], instructed [Combetta] to destroy records relevant to the then-ongoing congressional investigations,” noted House Oversight Committee Chair­man Jason Chaffetz.

In his July testimony, Comey said it was unclear if anyone had helped Clinton’s lawyers delete e-mails — yet he had to have known that Combetta, in his final interview under his immunity deal, had admitted destroying evidence under subpoena.

Comey also swore his team asked Clinton if she knew her lawyers had wiped clean the devices containing her e-mail archives, when it seems clear from the summary of her interview that agents did not ask her that question.

“Did you ask that question?” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked.

“Yes,” Comey replied.

In 4½ hours of testimony, Comey never once mentioned that he’d agreed to give Mills, Combetta and three other key subjects of his investigation immunity from prosecution. Also belying his pronouncements of “transparency,” he failed to reveal the unusual side deals that severely limited the scope of his probe.

Congressional investigators only learned about the deals weeks later, and still have not obtained all of the documents.

Lynch and Comey have redacted parts of the side-deal letters, including the names of all Justice Department and FBI personnel. They have also restricted access to the letters to certain members of Congress, while prohibiting even those members from removing them from the secure viewing room where they are kept. They’re also barred from taking notes.

“These onerous restrictions are not consistent with the high degree of transparency you and director Comey promised to Congress,” the chairmen complained.

Though Comey has turned over some 250 pages of investigative-case summaries and witness-interview summaries known as FBI 302s, he’s still withholding summaries of interviews with some 30 other witnesses.

It’s more evidence that Comey hasn’t been straight with the public about this probe, and raises serious questions about his integrity.

Congress must treat Comey as a hostile witness and investigate the investigator.

Paul Sperry, formerly DC bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, is the author of “Infiltration.”

Also see:

FBI agents are ready to revolt over the cozy Clinton probe

Hillary Clinton and FBI Director James Comey Photo: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton and FBI Director James Comey Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, October 6, 2016:

Veteran FBI agents say FBI Director James Comey has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his “cowardly” whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private e-mail server.

Feeling the heat from congressional critics, Comey last week argued that the case was investigated by career FBI agents, “So if I blew it, they blew it, too.”

But agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation.

“In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews,” said retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer-investigations unit.

Instead of going to prosecutors and insisting on using grand jury leverage to compel testimony and seize evidence, Comey allowed immunity for several key witnesses, including potential targets.

The immunity agreements came with outrageous side deals, including preventing agents from searching for any documents on a Dell laptop owned by former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills generated after Jan. 31, 2015, when she communicated with the server administrator who destroyed subpoenaed e-mails.

Comey also agreed to have Mills’ laptop destroyed after the restricted search, denying Congress the chance to look at it and making the FBI an accomplice to the destruction of evidence.

Comey’s immunized witnesses nonetheless suffered chronic lapses in memory, made unsubstantiated claims of attorney-client privilege upon tougher questioning and at least two gave demonstrably false statements. And yet Comey indulged it all.

What’s more, Comey cut a deal to give Clinton a “voluntary” witness interview on a major holiday, and even let her ex-chief of staff sit in on the interview as a lawyer, even though she, too, was under investigation.

Clinton’s interview, the culmination of a yearlong investigation, lasted just 3 ½ hours. Despite some 40 bouts of amnesia, she wasn’t called back for questioning; and three days later, Comey cleared her of criminal wrongdoing.

“The FBI has politicized itself, and its reputation will suffer for a long time,” Hughes said. “I hold director Comey responsible.”

Agreed retired FBI agent Michael M. Biasello: “Comey has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the organization.”

The accommodations afforded Clinton and her aides are “unprecedented,” Biasello added, “which is another way of saying this outcome was by design.” He called Comey’s decision not to seek charges “cowardly.”

“Each month for 27 years, I received oral and computer admonishments concerning the proper protocol for handling top secret and other classified material, and was informed of the harsh penalties, to include prosecution and incarceration” for mishandling such material, he pointed out. “Had myself or my colleagues engaged in behavior of the magnitude of Hillary Clinton, as described by Comey, we would be serving time in Leavenworth.”

Former FBI official I.C. Smith knows a thing or two about Clinton corruption. After working at FBI headquarters as a section chief in the National Security Division, he retired as special agent in charge of the Little Rock, Ark., field office, where he investigated top Clinton fund-raisers for public corruption and even Chinese espionage.

“FBI agents upset with Comey’s decision have every reason to feel that way,” Smith said. “Clearly there was a different standard applied to Clinton.”

“I have no doubt resourceful prosecutors and FBI agents could have come up with some charge that she would have been subject to prosecution,” the 25-year veteran added. “What she did is absolutely abhorrent for anyone who has access to classified information.”

Smith said Congress should subpoena the case’s agents to testify about the direction they received from Comey and their supervisors: “It would be interesting to see what the results would be if those involved with the investigation were questioned under oath.”

Comey made the 25 agents who worked on the case sign nondisclosure agreements. But others say morale has sunk inside the bureau.

“The director is giving the bureau a bad rap with all the gaps in the investigation,” one agent in the Washington field office said. “There’s a perception that the FBI has been politicized and let down the country.”

Comey has turned a once-proud institution known for its independence into one that bows to election pressure, hands out political immunity to candidates and effectively pardons their co-conspirators. He’s turned the FBI into the Federal Bureau of Immunity and lost the trust and respect of not only his agents but the country at large. He ought to step down.

Paul Sperry, formerly Washington bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily, is author of “Infiltration.”

Also see:

FBI Releases Video, New Details in Minnesota Mall Terror Attack by Somali Refugee Dahir Adan

11866454_gPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, OCTOBER 6, 2016

The FBI held an unusual press conference today in the case of last month’s terror attack at a shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The attacker, 20-year old Somali refugee Dahir Adan, was shot and killed on the scene by an off-duty police officer after stabbing ten mall workers and shoppers.

The press conference was unusual in that the investigation into the matter is still ongoing, but the FBI and local law enforcement felt the need to release graphic video of the attacks in order to shoot down various conspiracy theories circulating in the Minnesota Somali community and perpetuated by Black Lives Matter groups.

One of the early conspiracy theories floated by Adan’s family was the claim that he was an innocent bystander who was in the mall to pick up his new iPhone at the mall:

Those false rumors led some in the Somali community to use the incident to circulate claims that the shooting of Adan was unjustified:

Others claimed that Adan was mentally ill, which the family denied:

Just last week FBI Director James Comey testified that Adan appeared to be inspired by “extremist ideology”:

The FBI released further details on his possible motivation during their press conference today.

CBS News reports:

The stabbings at a central Minnesota mall last month that wounded 10 likely was premeditated by the attacker, who may have become radicalized recently, federal authorities said Thursday.Dahir Ahmed Adan became interested in Islam in the last several months, withdrew from his friends and encouraged his sisters to be more religious, FBI Special Agent Rick Thornton said at a news conference.

Witnesses told investigators that 20-year-old Adan yelled “Islam, Islam” and “Allahu akbar,” as well as asking several people whether they were Muslim before stabbing them during the Sept. 17 attack, which started outside Crossroads Center mall before moving inside.

“We were told Adan had not previously shown an interest in religion. Adan also encouraged some female relatives to become more religiously observant,” Thornton said, adding that investigators continue to analyze Adan’s digital footprint, including his social media and online activity, and are trying to obtain permission to unlock his smartphone.

FBI Director James Comey said last week it appeared Adan was at least partly inspired by extremist ideology. Thornton also said that Adan went from being a high academic performer to failing out of college “almost overnight” after taking an increased interest in Islam.

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EXCLUSIVE: Muslim Terrorists Infiltrating Law Enforcement

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Recent terror cases show security firms, police exposed to insider threat.

CounterJihad, by Paul Sperry, October 6, 2016:

In an alarming trend, more and more Muslim terrorists are infiltrating the ranks of security firms and police departments, where they have acquired official IDs and uniforms to help gain access to secure areas, as well as firearms and tactical training to help carry out attacks.

Some jihadists posing as law enforcement officers have also gained access to classified federal databases to tip off other terrorist suspects under surveillance.

On Sept. 17, Somali-American Dahi Adan wore a security guard uniform as he stabbed or slashed 10 people at a St. Cloud, Minn., mall with a knife before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. Adan made at least one reference to Allah during the stabbings and asked victims if they were Muslim before attacking. An ISIS affiliate claimed Adan was a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

Stockholm-based Securitas AB, a security firm that provides security services to companies in more than 200 cities worldwide, confirmed that Adan worked through June as a guard for its US division.

On the same day, Afghan-American Ahmad Rahami allegedly detonated a pressure-cooker bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York that left 31 injured. A blood-soaked journal found on Rahami after he was shot by police indicated he was carrying out “jihad” against “nonbelievers” in their “backyard.”

Though Rahami was working for his family restaurant at the time, he aspired to be a police officer, according to friends and neighbors. He majored in criminal justice at Middlesex County College in Edison, N.J. Rahami was enrolled there from 2010-2012 but did not graduate.

Another Afghan-American terrorist, Omar Mateen, was employed as a security guard for a major federal security contractor this June, when he opened fire at an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people. He had been dismissed from training as a prison guard after making threatening remarks, and ended up as a private security guard for G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc., which maintains a $234 million contract with the Department of Homeland Security.

Mateen was subject to a background check and psychological test when he was recruited by G4S in 2007 and rescreened in 2013 with no adverse findings — even though he threatened to kill a sheriff’s deputy at the St. Lucie County Courthouse where he was stationed as a security guard and had been placed on a terrorist watch list by the FBI.

“Omar became very agitated and made a comment that he could have al-Qaida kill my employee and his family,” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said. “If that wasn’t bad enough, he went on to say that the Fort Hood shooter was justified in his actions.”

As CounterJihad first reported, the Jupiter, Fla.-based security contractor G4S also provides security guards and other security services for “90 percent of U.S. nuclear facilities.”

In fact, G4S has the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) contract to run simulated Red Team terrorist attacks on US nuclear plants and US nuclear weapons labs, CounterJihad has learned. G4S is managing the exercises, and its armed guards are participating in the force-on-force attacks, including mock terrorist strikes, which are designed to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in nuclear security.

CounterJihad has also learned that Senate investigators have been working with NRC’s Nuclear Security and Incident Response division to determine if there are other potential Mateens working as security guards at America’s nuclear facilities. A preliminary review has found that dozens of other Middle Easterners have landed jobs with nuclear reactor licensees as contract security guards — including a possible relative of Mateen.  Only further scrutiny might identify insider threats among them.

It is far from an idle concern.  In a 2011 intelligence report, Homeland Security warned that “violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions” at nuclear facilities.  Security experts fear opening nuclear security jobs to insufficiently vetted Muslims like Mateen risks inviting jihadists to exploit weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the security of US nuclear plants, as well as spent-fuel rod repositories and even the federal nuclear weapons labs.

“ISIS has nuclear facilities on their targeting radar, not only to secure fissile material for dirty bombs, but also to exploit the inherent vulnerability presented by overfilled spent fuel pools,” said Brian F. Sullivan, retired FAA special agent, retired Army lieutenant colonel in the military police corps and senior fellow at the American Leadership and Policy Foundation.

“Europe is well aware of this threat potential and the results could be devastating here in the United States, where our government has totally dropped the ball,” Sullivan added in a recent interview with CounterJihad. He said radioactive fallout from dirty nukes could render major US cities uninhabitable for years, if not decades.

Of increasing concern, meanwhile, are the operatives the terrorist front group Council on American-Islamic Relations is planting inside law enforcement agencies. CAIR is no friend of police. The group has published and distributed posters advising Muslims not to cooperate with FBI agents investigating terrorist suspects and to slam the door in their faces.

In Florida, for example, the Broward Sheriff’s Office employs a senior CAIR official, even though CAIR has been identified by the US Justice Department as a co-conspirator in funding terrorism and is so closely tied to the Hamas terrorist group that the FBI has banned CAIR from all its outreach activities nationwide.

Broward deputy sheriff Nezar Hamze doubles as regional director for CAIR in Florida, where he pushes CAIR’s Islamist agenda and defends Islam against criticism it promotes terrorism, most recently in the bloody wake of the Orlando terrorist attack by devout Muslim Omar Mateen, whose radical mosque was defended by a CAIR lawyer.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who calls himself “Florida’s most progressive sheriff,” has ignored calls for Hamze’s removal from the force despite growing local protests.

Another CAIR executive, Khalid Latif, infiltrated the NYPD as its Muslim chaplain. Reportedly, Latif led the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia that Mateen joined in 2012.

The case of Mohammad Weiss Rasool shows why such infiltration is potentially dangerous.

The FBI busted Rasool, an Afghan immigrant, for tipping off an al-Qaida terrorist suspect last decade while working as a police officer for the Fairfax County Police Department outside Washington and moonlighting for CAIR. He worked his way up to sergeant before authorities realized they had an al-Qaida spy in their ranks.

According to a Justice Department complaint filed in 2008, Rasool searched a national criminal database containing names of terrorist suspects and confirmed that FBI agents were tailing a Muslim friend of his from a local mosque.

When agents went to arrest the target early one morning, they found him and his family already dressed and destroying evidence. They knew they had a mole, and worked back through the system to find Rasool.

That’s when agents discovered the cop had breached their database at least 15 times to look up names of other contacts, including relatives, to see if they showed up on the federal terrorist watch list.

Rasool’s actions “damaged the integrity of the NCIC system and jeopardized at least one federal investigation,” prosecutors said in federal court papers. “The defendant’s actions could have placed federal agents in danger.”

Rasool at first claimed he didn’t know the terrorist target. He confessed only after hearing a recording of his message for the suspect, Abdullah Alnoshan — a close associate of al-Qaida cleric Anwar Awlaki, a local imam who had helped some of the 9/11 hijackers obtain housing and ID’s in Fairfax County.

Rasool finally pleaded guilty to illegally searching a federal database.

According to the bestselling book “Muslim Mafia,” Rasool at the time worked closely with CAIR, which lobbied on his behalf during his prosecution.

In fact, Rasool acted as CAIR’s liaison within the police department, and often met with CAIR officials at CAIR’s headquarters located just three blocks from the US Capitol.

A senior Fairfax County Police Department official, who called Rasool “a traitor” who “disgraced the uniform,” said he was “deeply embedded with CAIR.”

“He was the spokesman to the department for CAIR,” the official explained in “Muslim Mafia.”

The FBI has its own problems with Islamist moles.

Consider the case of the Muslim FBI agent in Los Angeles who allegedly compromised a multi-agency terrorism investigation by tipping off the ringleader of a Pakistani-based terror cell that the local Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) had under surveillance for more than two years.

The “dirty” agent — an Egyptian-American married to an Afghan woman — allegedly sabotaged several investigations across the country, including ones in New York and Boston, that tie back to the Taliban in Pakistan. According to “Muslim Mafia,” he not only tipped the terror cell leader off to a so-called “trash cover” that investigators tried to execute outside his home in Los Angeles, but also identified surveillance vehicles for the terrorist suspect.

After an internal FBI investigation, the Muslim agent was reprimanded but not fired.

“The dirty FBI agent, my JTTF counterpart, compromised by investigation as well as several other agency investigations across the country,” said a detective who works counterterrorism intelligence for the LAPD. “The agent is embedded with the bad guys and gave them critical information detailing the investigations.”

The LAPD source added: “The FBI is covering it all up.”

Bureau tolerance for such betrayal by Muslim agents is not new.

Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, an Egyptian-American and the first Muslim FBI agent, twice refused on religious grounds to tape-record Muslim terrorist suspects under investigation, including his friend Sami al-Arian, who was later convicted in spite of Abdel-Hafiz gumming up the investigation.

In early 2001, then-FBI Director Louis Freeh picked Abdel-Hafiz to become the FBI’s deputy legal attache at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — a key post in the battle against al-Qaida, which had hit American military barracks inside Saudi and a warship in neighboring Yemen.

After 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers turned out to be Saudi nationals, Abdel-Hafiz was in a prime position to run down leads in the Saudi capital. Only, that didn’t happen, at least not as often as headquarters had hoped. Agents back in Washington complained about his performance there, saying they were not getting answers to the hundreds of leads they were sending him in Riyadh. Abdel-Hafiz says he was one of only two people manning the office there and was further hobbled by an antiquated computer system.

But he and his FBI boss Wilfred Rattigan, a black convert to Islam, had still found time to travel to Mecca for the annual pilgrimage, where they surrendered their FBI cell phones to Saudi nationals and were out of contact with officials back in the U.S. who were trying to ring them up about investigations into al-Qaida and 9/11. Both Rattigan and Abdel-Hafiz wore traditional Muslim headgear and robes while on the job in Saudi Arabia, further outraging fellow agents.

When a senior supervisor was sent to the Riyadh office nearly a year after 9/11, she found secret documents strewn all over the office, some even wedged between cabinets. She also found a huge backlog of boxes each filled with three feet of paper containing secret, time-sensitive leads. Much of the materials, including information on Saudi airline pilots, had not been translated or reviewed.

It’s anyone’s guess how many terror cases were compromised in the FBI’s Saudi office.

The FBI tried to fire Abdel-Hafiz in 2003 for insurance fraud and making false statements on his FBI application. But his termination was overruled by a special panel convened to hear the case, and he was reinstated. Reassigned to Dallas, Abdel-Hafiz recruited other Muslims to join the FBI at Islamic conferences held by Muslim Brotherhood front groups.

He finally retired last year, after being placed in the bureau’s post-adjudication risk management program, or PARM, which stripped him of access to certain classified material. He now works as a Homeland Security contractor advising on “countering violent extremism,” or CVE, the program the Obama administration started to pretend Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.

Among other things, Abdel-Hafiz argues against arresting young Muslim men who are being radicalized in order to build “trust” in the Muslim community.

Hundreds of other Muslim FBI agents, analysts, linguists and contractors have been subjected to additional security screening under the PARM program. The investigations have been prompted by concerns these FBI employees maintain family and other ties in the Middle East, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, and could be coerced by foreign spies or terrorist organizations to leak classified national security information.

FBI Can’t Seem To Nail Down Slippery Maryland ISIS Cleric

Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa (screenshot/Youtube)

Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa (screenshot/Youtube)

Daily Caller, by Saagar Enjeti, Oct. 2, 2016:

The FBI has been unable to find charges that stick to a Maryland Imam who openly encourages American Muslims to join the Islamic State.

The Imam, Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa, openly endorsed ISIS on facebook, has allegedly radicalized at least two would-be American terrorists, and is known to have sent large sums of money to active terrorist zones. At every turn, Bengharsa has pushed the First Amendment to its limit and shrouds his activities in secrecy to avoid prosecution.

Bengharsa is openly implicated in providing nearly 1300 dollars to would-be American terrorist Sebastian Gregerson, explicitly to expand his firearms and explosives arsenal. A 2015 FBI affidavit against Gregerson admits “there is reason to believe that Bengharsa and Gregerson are engaged in discussions and preparations for some violent act on behalf of [ISIS.]”

Bengharsa covered his alleged terrorism sponsorship by writing off the money as “zakat,” which loosely translates to Islamic charity. Bengharsa’s exploitation of charity laws gives him plausibility deniability as to how the funds would be put to use. ISIS militants frequently use the term Zakat in Iraq and Syria to secure extortion payments from the residents it controls.

Court Documents reviewed by The New York Times reveal Bengharsa has plenty of money, receiving a sum of nearly a million dollars in a recent wire transfer. The transfer came around the same time Bengharsa began to preach on behalf of the Islamic State. He is known to have transferred money to Yemen three times, where there is an active al-Qaida and Islamic State insurgency.

“It feels like McCarthyism,” Bengharsa told The Detroit News in 2015. He continued, “I am an advocate of the United States and the West getting the hell out of the Middle East and the Muslim world.”

He brushed off his alleged role in terrorist financing, saying, “If that individual turns around and wants to use that money for something else that’s illegal, the person who gave the money cannot be held responsible.”

Also see:

The FBI’s Hillary email probe is looking even more like a coverup

Hillary Clinton Photo: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton Photo: Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Sept. 28, 2016:

It’s bad enough that FBI Director James Comey agreed to pass out immunity deals like candy to material witnesses and potential targets of his investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illegal private email server.

But now we learn that some of them were immunized despite lying to Comey’s investigators.

In the latest bombshell from Congress’ probe into what’s looking more and more like an FBI whitewash (or coverup) of criminal behavior by the Democratic nominee and her aides, the Denver-based tech who destroyed subpoenaed emails from Clinton’s server allegedly lied to FBI agents after he got an immunity deal.

That’s normally a felony. As a federal prosecutor, Comey tossed Martha Stewart in jail for it and helped convict Scooter Libby for it as well. Yet the key Clinton witness still maintained his protection from criminal prosecution.

With Comey’s blessing, Obama prosecutors cut the deal with the email administrator, Paul Combetta, in 2015 in exchange for his full cooperation and honest testimony. But the House Judiciary Committee revealed Wednesday that he falsely told agents in a Feb. 18 interview that he had no knowledge that emails he bleached from the server were under congressional orders to be preserved as evidence.

In a second interview on May 3, Combetta admitted he in fact did know. But he still refused to reveal what he discussed with Clinton’s former aides and lawyer during a 2014 conference call about deleting the emails.

Instead of asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to revoke his immunity deal and squeezing him, Comey let him go because he was a “low-level guy,” he testified at the House hearing. It’s yet another action by Comey that has left former prosecutors shaking their heads.

“When I was at the Department of Justice, your reward for lying to a federal agent was a potential obstruction of justice charge,” House Judiciary Committee member Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said. “It wasn’t immunity.”

Ratcliffe argued Combetta violated the terms of his immunity agreement and therefore “shouldn’t have immunity anymore.”

Another panel member, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), established that former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills also lied when she told agents she had no idea Clinton maintained a private email server. She once sent the server administrator a message asking “is server ok” after emails she sent Clinton kept bouncing back. Yet Mills continued to get immunity as well.

Comey said he looked “very hard” but couldn’t make an obstruction case “against any of the subjects we looked at.” He claimed not to have the evidence.

But the case suffered from the fact that he was denied evidence by Clinton and her minions, including:

  • A personal Apple email server used by Clinton in her first two months in office.
  • An Apple MacBook and thumb drive that contained her email archives, which was “lost” in the mail.
  • Two BlackBerry devices that were missing SIM cards and SD data cards.
  • 13 mobile devices either lost or smashed with hammers.
  • Two iPads.
  • Server backup files that were deleted.
  • Copies of emails located on the laptops of Mills and another aide who got immunity that were wiped clean with software called BleachBit after the Benghazi committee sought the documents.
  • Clinton’s server email archive, which was deleted using BleachBit by Combetta after the emails were subpoenaed.
  • Backups of the server email files, which were manually deleted.

This mass destruction of evidence was known to Comey. It’s in his investigative case summary. Yet he couldn’t make an obstruction case?

“Any one of those in that long list says obstruction of justice,” Ratcliffe said. “Collectively, they scream obstruction of justice.”

Ignoring such evidence leads “not just reasonable prosecutors but reasonable people to believe that maybe the decision on this was made a long time ago not to prosecute Hillary Clinton,” he added.

In other words, the fix was in.

Either that, or Comey led one of the shoddiest probes in FBI history. God help us if that’s the way he’s investigating the 1,000-plus ISIS terrorist cases now open in all 50 states.

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Also see:

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Panel: “Clinton Scandal Update – Emails and the Clinton Foundation”

In response to the revelations about the pay-to-play scandal tied to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s non-state.gov email system and the Clinton Foundation, Judicial Watch hosted an educational panel discussion:  “Clinton Scandal Update – Emails and the Clinton Foundation” on September 29, 2016.

Panelists include author of the New York Times best-seller Clinton Cash and President of Government Accountability Institute Peter Schweizer; Joe diGenova, former U.S. Attorney, Independent Counsel and founding partner of the Washington, D.C., law firm diGenova & Toensing; and Chris Farrell, director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch. Moderator will be Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Known Wolf Terrorism: A Dozen Cases of FBI Failure on Obama’s Watch

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PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Sept. 28, 2016:

FBI Director James Comey was called-out by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) this week on the growing problem of what I have termed “Known Wolf” terrorism – an act of terror committed by someone already known to law enforcement.

During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, Comey said the FBI is reviewing the missed opportunities in both the recent NY-NJ bombing and the mass killing in Orlando in June.

But as seen in the video of the exchange between Comey and Sen. Paul, the FBI director seemed unconcerned about the problem.

Sadly, “Known Wolf” terrorism is rising rapidly, with four such incidents already this year and a dozen incidents during the Obama administration.

In fact, virtually every Islamic terror attack under President Obama’s watch has been by a “Known Wolf” suspect.

As my friend and PJ Media colleague, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, noted here last week for years the Obama administration has pushed a narrative that Islamic terrorists operating in the U.S. were “lone wolves” – striking out of nowhere and without warning.

But in virtually every case these “lone wolves” were already on law enforcement’s radar, and in some cases, had been placed on the terror watch lists.

As I’ve noted here at PJ Media going back to October 2014, the “lone wolf” canard was spun by the Obama administration to exonerate themselves whenever one of these terror attacks occurred.

However the “Known Wolf” terrorism problem is finally being addressed. Senator Jim Lankford (R-OK) is in the process of conducting a six-month investigation into the break down in these cases.

And this past Saturday, a New York Post board editorial noted my identification and two year documentation the “Known Wolf” problem in the West:

FBI Director James Comey notes that searching for lone wolves is like “looking for needles in a national haystack.” But Rahami was less a lone wolf than what Pat Poole at PJ Media calls a “known wolf” — i.e., someone who had been flagged by authorities but then forgotten.Poole cites at least eight other such “known wolves” — including the Underwear Bomber, the Fort Hood shooter and perps in the Orlando nightclub massacre and Boston Marathon bombing as well as jihadis in Garland, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Seattle; West Orange, NJ; and Columbus, Ohio.

In fact, there have been a dozen “Known Wolf” terrorism cases on the Obama administration’s watch:

New York-New Jersey: After stabbing a family member in 2014, September 2016 NY-NJ bomber Ahmad Rahami‘s father told New Jersey police that his son was a terrorist, which prompted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to open an assessment and Rahami was flagged in the FBI’s Guardian system. The arresting officer told the court that Rahami was likely “a danger to himself and to others,” but no charges were filed. At some point a neighbor contacted authorities concerned that associates of Rahami were trying to procure explosives.

Roanoke, VA: In August 2016, Wasil Farooqi attacked a couple outside their apartment complex shouting “Allah Akhbar” and repeatedly stabbing the couple. He was caught when he arrived at the hospital to have his own injuries treated. While the media has played up his claims to have been “hearing voices” leading up to the attack, he had been on the FBI’s radar after he had traveled to Germany and Turkey, and had attempted to enter Syria, possibly to join ISIS there, but was never charged for the attempt.

Orlando: The mass killer who attacked at The Pulse nightclub in June 2016, Omar Mateen had been interviewed by the FBI on three separate occasions, including an open preliminary investigation in 2013 lasting 10 months, after telling others about mutual acquaintances shared with the Boston bombers and making extremist statements. He was investigated again in 2014 for his contacts with a suicide bomber who attended the same mosque. At one point Mateen was placed on two separate terrorism databases but was later removed.Columbus, OH: In February 2016 when Mohamed Barry attacked patrons with a machete at an Israeli-owned deli and later charged police shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” at which time he was shot and killed, he hadalready been investigated by the FBI for making extremist statements. Barry had been entered on a federal watch list and it appears remained on it until the time of the attack as his car had been flagged by authorities, but no further investigation was made.

Garland, TX: In May 2015, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were killed in a shootout with law enforcement outside a convention center where they had planned to attack a Muhammad cartoon drawing contest. But Simpson had been known to the FBI for years before going back to his involvement in a terror cell in Phoenix. He was even prosecuted for his involvement, and while a judge found that the had lied to the FBI about his plans overseas, he ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to prove Simpson intended to commit terrorism. He was subsequentlyplaced on the no-fly list, and the FBI opened up another investigation after he had made statements online in support of the Islamic State. Remarkably, evidence in a related terrorism trial revealed that the FBI not only had a paid informant inside the cell, the informant was aware of the attack plans and was reportedly on the scene at the time of the attack.

Columbus, OH: In May 2014, Zakia Nasrin, her husband Jaffrey Khan, and Zakia’s younger brother Rasel Raihan traveled to the capital city of the Islamic State, Raqqa, Syria, to join the terror group. According to U.S. intelligence officials, Rasel was killed there. Jaffrey and Rasel werealready known as extremists by the FBI after an informant’s tip. Suspicions were further raised when Jaffrey and Zakia claimed to have “lost” their passports while in Kenya. Rasel admitted to friends that he had been interviewed by the FBI. The report also claims that they were indeed on the terror watch list. And at the height of ISIS recruitment of Muslim-Americans, the FBI took no measures to prevent their travel to Syria.

Seattle, Newark: From April-June 2014, Ali Muhammad Brown went on a cross-country killing spree murdering 3 victims in Washington and another in New Jersey claiming that they were “vengeance” for U.S. actions in the Middle East. As a teenager Brown had reportedly trained at one of the first known U.S. terror training camps, and was later arrested in 2004 as part of a Seattle terror cell. At the time of his killing spree, prosecutors said he was on the terror watch list.

Boston: Prior to the bombing of the Boston Marathon by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013 that killed three people and injured 264 others, the FBI had been tipped off, twice, by Russian intelligence warning that Tamerlan was “a follower of radical Islam.” Initially, the FBI denied ever meeting with Tamerlan, but they later claimed that they followed up on the lead, couldn’t find anything in their databases linking him to terrorism, and quickly closed the case. After the second Russian warning, Tamerlan’s file was flagged by federal authorities demanding “mandatory” detention if he attempted to leave or re-enter the U.S. — but his name was misspelled when it was entered. An internal report of the handling of the Tsarnaev’s case unsurprisingly exonerated the FBI.

Underwear Bomber: When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 with 289 other passengers wearing a bomb intended to bring down the plane, he was already well-known to U.S. intelligence officials. The month before the attempted bombing, Abdulmutallab’s father had gone to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and met with two CIA officers telling them he wasconcerned about his son’s extremism. His name was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database, but not the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database or the no-fly list. When asked about the near-takedown of the flight and the missteps, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano remarkably told CNN that “the system worked.”

Fort Hood: Within days of Major Nidal Hasan’s November 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing 13, news reports indicated that the FBI was aware of his email correspondence with al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki nearly a year before he launched his terror attack. The FBI was quick to issue a press release absolving themselves of responsibility, claiming that the email exchange was innocuous and consistent with Major Hasan’s religious research. But after the emails intercepted by the FBI were made public in 2012, there were clear indications of Major Hasan’s terrorist intent. Hasan had also repeatedly given PowerPoint briefings that proved to be highly controversial to his fellow Army colleagues because they threatened insider attacks by Muslims if they weren’t released as “conscientious objectors.”

New York City: On September 10, 2009, Najibullah Zazi drove his car into Manhattan loaded with backpack bombs intending to bomb the New York City Subway during rush hour. Zazi had received training from al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in 2008 and orders to conduct a domestic terror attack. British intelligence subsequently intercepted an emailbetween a senior al-Qaeda leader and Zazi inquiring about when he was going to conduct the attack and alerted American officials. The FBI then began conducting surveillance on Zazi, and followed him as he drove from Colorado to New York, during which time he lost the FBI tail (requiring FBI agents to fly to St. Louis to catch up with him), was stopped twice by police along the way, and then had his car searched on the George Washington Bridge by New York and New Jersey Port Authority police at the request of the FBI. The explosive device in the trunk was not discovered in the trunk because the trunk was never searched, most likely because the FBI had failed to obtain a search warrant. As Mitch Silber noted in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, the FBI allowed Zazi to drive into New York City with the bomb. Spooked by the stops and the search, and then by a tip from an imam who told Zazi that authorities were asking about him, Zazi disposed of the bomb materials in a toilet at a local mosque and flew back to Colorado, where he was arrested several days later. Despite the FBI’s repeated bungling of the case, the bureau publicly tried to pin the blame on the NYPD.

Little Rock: When Carlos Leon Bledsoe gunned down two U.S. Army soldiers in front of a Little Rock recruiting center in June 2009, killing Pvt. William Long, it was not his first contact with the FBI. Bureau agents had interviewed Bledsoe in Yemen and after his return to the U.S. in 2008, but had failed to follow up. After the Little Rock shooting, FBI officials said that he was motivated by “political and religious motives,” but refused to identify the incident as a terrorist attack.

In virtually every single Islamic terror attack inside the U.S. since Obama took office, excepting Chattanooga and San Bernardino both last year, the suspects were extremists already known to the FBI. And in the case of San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, she had been vetted by the U.S. government in June 2014and given a K-1 visa, though the FBI believes she had already been radicalized by then.

So after two years of reporting here at PJ Media on the ongoing “Known Wolf” terrorism problem, it seems that some members of Congress are beginning to begin to acknowledge problem.

Oct. 24, 2014: ‘Lone Wolf’ or ‘Known Wolf’: The Ongoing Counter-Terrorism Failure

Dec. 15, 2014: Sydney Hostage Taker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ SyndromeJan. 7, 2015: Paris Terror Attack Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 3, 2015: French Police Terror Attacker Yesterday Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Syndrome

Feb. 15, 2015: Copenhagen Killer Was yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Feb. 26, 2015: Islamic State Beheader ‘Jihadi John’ Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Apr. 22, 2015: Botched Attack on Paris Churches Another Case of “Known Wolf” Terrorism

May 4, 2015: Texas Attack Is Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

June 26, 2015: France’s Beheading Terrorist Was Well-Known By Authorities

July 16, 2015: Report: Chattanooga Jihadist Was Yet Another ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist, Anonymous Feds Dispute

Aug. 22, 2015: European Train Attacker Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

Oct 14, 2015: Yet Again: Turkey, Israel Terror Attacks Committed by “Known Wolves”

Nov 14, 2015: One Paris Attacker Was Previously Known to Authorities, Marks Fifth ‘Known Wolf” Attack in France This Year

Feb 16, 2016: Machete Attack in Ohio Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorism

May 16, 2016: News Reports Yet Another Case of ‘Known Wolf’ U.S. Terrorists

June 12, 2016: Orlando Night Club Attack by “Known Wolf” Terrorist Previously Investigated by FBI

July 14, 2016: Senate Intelligence Committee to Investigate “Known Wolf” Terrorism Problem

July 26, 2016: ISIS Suspect in Normandy Priest’s Killing Already Known to French Authorities

August 10, 2016: Canadian ‘Known Wolf’ Terrorist Planned Suicide Bombing of Major City, Killed in Overnight Police Operation

August 19, 2016: Man Who Stabbed Rabbi Thursday in Strasbourg, France Involved in Prior Attack

Sept. 20, 2016: NY-NJ Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami Already Known to Law Enforcement Authorities

Will there be adequate changes made inside the FBI to prevent future attacks by known suspects? It seems unlikely until there are consequences for the long catalogue of failure by FBI leadership.

But as I’ve documented here, the “Known Wolf” terrorism problem is the rule under the Obama administration, not the exception.

The FBI Investigation of EmailGate Was a Sham

FBI Director James Comey. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FBI Director James Comey. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Observer, by John R. Schindler

From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the Bureau to do its job – at least where high-ranking Democrats are concerned.

As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.

Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

This stunning omission appears highly curious to anybody versed in counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less classified than what Clinton and her staff exposed on Hillary “unclassified” email server of bathroom infamy.

This week, however, we learned that there is actually no mystery at all here. The FBI was never able to get enough traction in its investigation of EmailGate to prosecute anybody since the Bureau had already granted immunity to key players in that scandal.

Granting immunity is a standard practice in investigations, and is sometimes unavoidable. Giving a pass to Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT guru who set up her email and server, made some sense since he understands what happened here, technically speaking, and otherwise is a small fish. The wisdom of giving him a pass now seems debatable, though, since Pagliano has twice refused to testify before Congress about his part in EmailGate, blowing off subpoenas. Just this week the House Oversight Committee recommended that Pagliano be cited for contempt of Congress for his repeated no-shows. That vote was on strictly partisan lines, with not a single Democrat on the committee finding Pagliano’s ignoring of Congressional subpoenas to be worthy of censure.

Now it turns out the FBI granted immunity to much bigger fish in the Clinton political tank. Three more people got a pass from the Bureau in exchange for their cooperation: Hillary lawyer Heather Samuelson, State Department IT boss John Bental, and – by far the most consequential – Cheryl Mills, who has been a Clinton flunky-cum-factotum for decades.

Mills served as the State Department’s Chief of Staff and Counselor throughout Hillary’s tenure as our nation’s top diplomat. Granting her immunity in EmailGate, given her deep involvement in that scandal – including the destruction of tens of thousands of emails so they could not be handed over to the FBI – now seems curious, to say the least, particularly because Mills sat in on Hillary’s chat with the Bureau regarding EmailGate.

This was in fact so highly irregular that Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, pronounced himself “absolutely stunned” by the FBI’s granting of immunity to Cheryl Mills – which he learned of only on Friday. “No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case,” Rep. Chaffetz observed of Comey’s Bureau: “They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”

Not to mention that Mills has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation in Washington for helping the Clintons dodge investigation after investigation. When Bill and Hillary need a fixer to help them bury the bodies – as they say inside the Beltway – trusty Cheryl Mills has been on call for the last quarter-century.

She played a key role in the Whitewater scandal of the 1990s – and so did James Comey. Fully two decades ago, when Comey was a Senate investigator, he tried to get Mills, then deputy counsel to Bill Clinton’s White House, to hand over relevant documents. Mills went full dog-ate-my-homework, claiming that a burglar had taken the files, leading Comey to unavoidably conclude that she was obstructing his investigation. Mills’ cover-up, the Senate investigators assessed, encompassed “destruction of documents” and “highly improper” behavior.

Such misconduct is a career-ender for normal people in Washington, but not for Cheryl Mills, who over the last several decades has followed the Clintons everywhere they go. Mills has proven her loyalty to Clinton, Inc. time and again, and that loyalty has been rewarded with a pass on prosecution in EmailGate.

To say nothing of the fact that as chief of staff at Foggy Bottom, Mills was in no way functioning as Hillary’s personal lawyer, as Clinton advocates have contended. Even her other title, State Department Counselor, has nothing to do with legal matters, despite the name. That role is traditionally assigned to an esteemed foreign policy guru who is supposed to offer sage counsel to the secretary of state. Mills’ predecessor as Counselor was Eliot Cohen, one of the country’s preeminent scholars of international relations. Leave it to the Clintons to turn that job over to one of their trusted cabal, translating Counselor in mafia fashion as consigliere.

“The whole thing stinks,” explained a retired FBI senior official who professed dismay about the state of his former employer. “This was impossible in my time, unthinkable,” he rued, expressing shock that the Bureau allowed Mills to remain involved in the investigation, including acting as Hillary’s personal lawyer, despite her own immunity.

How exactly Cheryl Mills got immunity, and what its terms were, is the long-awaited “smoking gun” in EmailGate, the clear indication that, despite countless man-hours expended on the year-long investigation, James Comey and his FBI never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton – or anyone – for her mishandling of classified information as secretary of state.

Why Comey decided to give Mills a get-out-of-jail-free card is something that needs proper investigation. This is raw, naked politics in all its ugly and cynical glory. Corruption is the tamest word to describe this sort of dirty backroom deal which makes average Americans despise politics and politicians altogether.

How high in this administration EmailGate went is the key question, and it’s been reopened by the latest tranche of redacted documents that the FBI released – on Friday afternoon, as usual. There are lots of tantalizing tidbits here, including the fact that early in Hillary’s term at Foggy Bottom, State Department officials were raising awkward legal questions about her highly irregular email and server arrangements.

Most intriguing, however, is the revelation that Hillary was communicating with President Obama via personal email, and he was using an alias. The alias he used with Hillary, and apparently others, was withheld by the FBI, and let it be said the fact that the president wanted to disguise his identity in unclassified email is not all that odd.

What is odd, however, is the fact that Obama previously told the media that he only learned of Hillary’s irregular email and server arrangements from “news reports.” How the president failed to notice that he was emailing his top diplomat at her personal, clintonmail.com address, not a state.gov account, particularly when they were discussing official business, is something Congress may want to find out – since certainly the FBI won’t.

Indeed, when she was being interviewed by the Bureau, Hillary’s ever-faithful sidekick Huma Abedin, was asked about President Obama’s emailing to Hillary using an alias. “How is this not classified?” inquired the mystified Abedin.

How indeed?

The fact that the FBI redacted the contents of that email indicates that is wasclassified, although it was sent to Hillary’s personal email and transited her personal server.

This, like so many aspects of EmailGate, seems destined to remain a mystery, at least for now. The State Department won’t release the full collection of Clinton’s emails until after our November 8 election. Just this week a Federal judge blasted Foggy Bottom for its slow-rolling: “The State Department needs to start cooperating to the fullest extent possible. They are not perceived to be doing that.” Nevertheless, thepublic won’t get to see all of Hillary’s emails until after Americans decide who the next president will be.

For Hillary Clinton, winning that election may be a legal necessity to protect her from prosecution. Congress, animated by these latest revelations of illegality and corruption, will now pursue her with vigor, while an FBI in the hands of Donald Trump seems likely to show an interest in EmailGate which the Bureau never possessed under President Obama.

Regardless, this story has emerged yet again to tar Hillary Clinton’s reputation at the worst possible time, when her campaign is lagging in the polls. We can be sure that her Republican opponent will mention EmailGate in Monday’s inaugural presidential debate. The Democratic nominee should have coherent answers about her email and server at the ready if she wants to avoid a debacle before the cameras.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee.

FBI Training Questioned in Recent Terror Attacks

This notebook recovered in the arrest of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami mentions deceased al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki / AP

This notebook recovered in the arrest of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami mentions deceased al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki / AP

Washington  Free Beacon, by Bill Gertz, Sept. 22, 2016:

Recent domestic terror attacks by Islamic extremists are raising questions among officials and security experts about whether FBI counterterrorism training is deficient.

The chief suspect in the New York City homemade bombing attacks last weekend, Ahmad Rahami, was probed for several weeks by the FBI in 2014 after his father alerted authorities to his terrorist leanings.

Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, told reporters this week that he informed the FBI about concerns about his son after Rahami stabbed one of his brothers in a domestic dispute.

“Two years ago I go to the FBI because my son was doing really bad, OK?” the elder Rahami said. “But they check almost two months, they say, ‘He’s okay, he’s clean, he’s not a terrorist.’ I say OK.”

“Now they say he is a terrorist. I say OK,” Mohammad Rahami said.

The FBI acknowledged dismissing concerns that Rahami posed a terrorism threat. “In August 2014, the FBI initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authorities,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

An FBI spokeswoman did not respond to questions about counterterrorism training.

Rahami is charged with setting off a bomb in downtown New York City that injured 29 people. Other bombs were planted nearby and in New Jersey. He was arrested after being wounded in a shootout with police.

Evidence gathered in the case reveals Rahami carried out the bombing in support of the terrorist groups Islamic State and al Qaeda.

A notebook found on Rahami mentioned ISIS terror leader Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria last August. The terror leader was quoted by Rahami as instructing sympathizers to kill non-Muslims.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to question FBI Director James Comey about its counterterrorism work at a hearing Wednesday.

“From San Bernardino to Orlando to the most recent terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, the United States has experienced a rise in radical Islamic terrorism and we must ensure that the FBI has the resources needed for its counterterrorism efforts in order to thwart these heinous plots and protect Americans from harm,” Goodlatte said in a statement.

Former FBI Special Agent John Guandolo said the FBI does not lack resources but has failed to understand the nature of the Islamist terror threat and thus has prevented proper training of counterterrorism agents over misplaced concerns of discrimination against Muslims.

“Obviously the FBI’s training program is catastrophically broken,” Guandolo said, noting the string of recent domestic attacks involving terrorists who were at least familiar to FBI counterterrorism agents because of indications they were linked to Islamists.

Six earlier terrorist attacks, among them mass murders at an Orlando nightclub and killings on a military base in Texas, were preceded by FBI investigations or inquiries into the attackers or their immediate family members.

The list of those recent attacks includes:

  • The 2009 shooting at a U.S. military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas, by a Muslim extremist who had been investigated earlier by the FBI
  • The 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people. Hassan was known to the FBI in 2008 through communications he had with an al Qaeda terrorist in Yemen
  • The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by two Islamist terrorists from Russia who were the subject of terrorism warnings provided to the FBI by the Russian government
  • The 2015 shootings at military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, carried out by Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, whose father had been placed on a terrorism watch list in the past
  •  The 2015 shooting in Garland, Texas, by two terrorists, one of whom was known to the FBI in 2009 as a potential terrorist
  • The 2016 Orlando nightclub killings of 49 people by Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen who was investigated twice by the FBI prior to the attack

Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka said the FBI’s counterterrorism division has created excellent counterterrorism training courses since the 2009 Fort Hood attack.

“That is not the problem,” said Gorka, professor of strategy and irregular warfare at the Institute of World Politics. “The issue is the courses aren’t being held.”

Since last year, Justice Department funding for counterterrorism training was slashed by nearly 50 percent, Gorka said. As a result, the “Terrorism: Origins and Ideology” course designed specifically for Joint Terrorism Task Force members—whose mission is to catch people like Rahami before they kill—were reduced from eight courses per year to less than four.

“As a result our law enforcement officers are less prepared just as the threat has increased,” Gorka said.

Michael Waller, an expert on unconventional warfare, said the FBI is missing the bad guys in advance of their attacks due to a policy that prevents monitoring jihadists before they become violent.

“This policy began under the previous FBI director, Robert Mueller, and for years has had a chilling effect throughout the bureau,” said Waller, an analyst with the research firm Wikistrat.

Waller says the FBI made a strategic error after the September 11 terror attacks by reaching out to Muslim Brotherhood Islamists and their front groups in the United States to court “moderate” Muslims.

“That’s equivalent to the FBI asking the KGB for help in fighting Communist subversion and violence,” he said, referring to the Soviet-era political police and intelligence service.

“The administration’s whole approach to ‘countering violent extremism’ literally keeps avowed jihadists off the FBI watch list, as long as they are not ‘violent,’” Waller said. “So while the FBI does investigate some of these jihadis in advance, too often it lets them go, or misses them completely, until they murder and maim.”

Waller noted that any expression of Islamic extremism poses a threat to the Constitution because, whether violent or not, it advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government.

“Such individuals, by statute, are proper targets for arrest and prosecution,” he said. “The FBI’s job—like any federal agency’s job—is to defend the Constitution ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ In this regard, the FBI has failed.”

The FBI did not have information about the terrorists in advance of last year’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, in which a married couple pledging loyalty to ISIS murdered 14 people. However, the couple had communicated privately on social media about waging jihad, or holy war, before the attack.

A common tie between the perpetrators of several recent Islamist terror attacks, including the New York bombings, was English-speaking online al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011 but whose recruiting videos are available on the Internet.

Awlaki was an inspiration behind the shootings at Fort Hood, San Bernardino, and Orlando, as well as the New York bombings, according to investigations of those attacks.

Court documents in the New York and New Jersey bombing case reveal that Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, had made “laudatory references” to Awlaki that were found in a journal he carried at the time of his arrest after a shootout with police.

Rahami also praised Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people during the Fort Hood attack.

The FBI complaint against Rahami indicates that he constructed several pressure cooker bombs planted in a two-state bombing spree. The bombs contained homemade explosives and were meant to be triggered remotely by cell phones.

Similar pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon bombings. Plans on how to manufacture the devices have been published in an al Qaeda magazine called Inspire.

Guandolo, the former FBI agent, noted that the FBI complaint against Rahami states that he received “instructions of terrorist leaders” to “attack nonbelievers where they live.”

Additionally, Rahami stated in a personal journal that “guidance came [from] Sheik Anwar”—a reference to Awlaki.

“From whence did that ‘extremist’ idea come?” Guandolo said, noting that the Koran directs Muslims to “fight and slay the unbelievers where you find them and capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush.”

Rahami’s notebook ends with the passage that “the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets. Gun shots to your police. Death to Your OPPRESSION.”

***

Also see:

Today there will be a hearing of the Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency subcommittee, looking at the failure to successfully identify the enemy in our current fight. Former HIPSC Chairman Pete Hoekstra and Anti-Islamist Muslim formers Zhudi Jasser and Shireen Qudosi will be going up against DHS hack and former Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee grievance monger George Selim and Pro-terror Islamist law professor Sahar Aziz. – David Shideler, follow @ShidelerK for running commentary on the hearing

Hearing: “Identifying the Enemy: Radical Islamist Terror.” livestream:

Why FBI Suspects Keep Attacking Americans

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The reason our authorities don’t take pre-emptive action against Islamic terror — even after solid intelligence warnings.

Front Page Magazine, by Matthew Vadum, Sept. 21, 2016:

Why does the Obama administration keep failing to thwart Muslim terrorist attacks in the U.S. after receiving apparently good intelligence warning of those attacks?

It turns out that Americans keep turning in budding Muslim terrorists to the Obama administration and the administration keeps on doing nothing. For example, the alleged mastermind of the weekend pressure-cooker bombing in New York City was turned in by his own father but the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to do much of anything about him.

These intelligence failures have become a recurrent theme in the Obama era, with deadly results. Excluding the events of the last few days, there have been 89 Muslim terrorist plots and attacks in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001 and 25 of those have taken place since the beginning of 2015, according to David Inserra of the Heritage Foundation.

Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka, vice president at the Institute of World Politics, blamed political correctness for the FBI’s inability to do something about Rahami before he acted.

“There are certain sensitivities,” Gorka said on the “O’Reilly Factor” last night.

“A certain political matrix is being forced upon our operators and investigators,” he said. Usually this kind of political pressure originates not from the FBI, but from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, he said.

The FBI is also hindered by inadequate human resources, Gorka said. There are reportedly 900 active terrorist investigations in all 50 states and the bureau can only do so much, he said.

The FBI has indeed been handcuffed in terrorist investigations by President Obama whose administration has worked with terrorist front groups like the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The law enforcement agency has also become increasingly politicized in the Obama era.

The pressure-cooker terrorist was apprehended after he injured a score of New Yorkers on the weekend but not through brilliant police work. He was caught during a shootout with cops.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a.k.a. Ahmad Rahimi, was charged yesterday with use of weapons of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use. Rahami was born in Afghanistan but became a U.S. citizen.

Prosecutors say Rahami planted a pipe bomb and triggering cellphone Saturday morning in Seaside Park, N.J., before a scheduled U.S. Marine Corps charity run. Later that day he placed a pressure cooker bomb in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan that the complaint states caused injuries and “multiple-million dollars of property damage across a 650-foot crime scene.” Twenty-nine people were wounded. He was previously charged with multiple counts of attempted murder of police officers and other offenses arising from a gun battle when he was captured Monday.

Police also discovered and safely detonated a pipe bomb at a train station in Elizabeth, N.J. Although it is unclear if Rahami is connected to that bomb, his family did sue the city of Elizabeth in 2011 claiming harassment and religious discrimination related to their family restaurant, First American Fried Chicken.

Rahami came to the attention of the FBI two years ago when his father suspected his son was involved in terrorism. Mohammad Rahami told reporters he contacted federal authorities after Ahmad stabbed Nasser, another one of his sons, and attacked another family member, which led to a criminal investigation.

The FBI apparently performed a superficial examination of the case at the time.

 “In August 2014, the F.B.I. initiated an assessment of Ahmad Rahami based upon comments made by his father after a domestic dispute that were subsequently reported to authority,” the agency said in a press release. “The F.B.I. conducted internal database reviews, interagency checks, and multiple interviews, none of which revealed ties to terrorism.”

It would seem the fact that Rahami made a three-month trip to Quetta, Pakistan, in 2011, and visited Quetta again during an 11-month trip beginning in 2013, were ignored by the FBI. Quetta is a Taliban stronghold and a hotbed of Salafi jihadism.

About two miles from the Chelsea attack, President Obama gave a speech at the United Nations in which he said the U.S. should take more immigrants like Rahami and implicitly attacked GOP candidate Donald Trump. Obama blamed America for the world’s problems as he jabbed at Trump’s promise to secure the border, crack down on illegal aliens, and change our asylum policies.

“The world is too small for us to simply be able to build a wall,” Obama said. “We have to open our hearts and do more to help refugees who are desperate for a home,” he said. He added, “today a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself.”

Obama also suggested that Americans and Europeans are racist for not wanting to be swamped by outsiders from hostile cultures. “And in Europe and the United States, you see people wrestle with concerns about immigration and changing demographics, and suggesting that somehow people who look different are corrupting the character of our countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rahami isn’t the first Islamic terrorist law enforcement agencies have failed to do anything about after receiving tips.

Omar Mir Siddique Mateen, who in June killed 49 innocent victims at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., was reported to the FBI in 2014. The massacre has been called the worst mass shooting in American history and the worst domestic terrorist attack since 9/11. Mateen, shot dead by police during the episode, had been under FBI investigation.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack after it took place. Mateen himself “claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and praised the Boston Marathon bombers,” before being killed by police on the scene, the New York Times reported at the time.

In December 2015, President Obama ignored FBI-procured evidence that the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., was an Islamic terrorist operation and ordered federal officials to mislead the public about the true nature of the assault.

Although the FBI knew immediately that the mass-casualty event was a Muslim terrorist attack, Obama and FBI Director James Comey reportedly clashed over why Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, opened fire Farook’s municipal government workmates, leaving 14 dead. They left a trail of social media evidence that went unused before the attack.

Whistleblower Phil Haney, an investigator who helped to create the Department of Homeland Security, revealed the government shut down a database he created that might have helped to prevent the attack. Haney says he looked into groups that had ties to Farook and Malik as far back as 2012. But civil rights officials accused him of unfairly profiling Muslims, removed his security clearance, and destroyed the data he collected. (Haney tells his story in Trevor Loudon’s powerful new documentary film about leftist and jihadist influence in the U.S. government, The Enemies Within.)

And don’t forget the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev. The FBI had been investigating Tamerlan and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) warned the Obama administration about his jihadist sympathies.

But Barack Obama doesn’t like reality intruding on his preferred narrative. Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims have to be given the benefit of the doubt in his view.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”

Also see: