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