After confessing to his crime, Fort Lauderdale terrorist Esteban Santiago told the FBI that he carried out his attack on behalf of ISIS.
At a bond hearing Tuesday, FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo testified that Santiago claimed he had been in contact with fanatic Muslims via jihadi online chat rooms.
The FBI agent didn’t reveal details of the agency’s ongoing investigation, including whether Santiago was directly in contact with ISIS militants, but he did make clear that the terrorist who took the lives of five people at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on January 6 believed he was fighting for the Islamic State.
At the very least, Santiago was inspired by ISIS. So far, ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
One thing is clear: Santiago’s airport attack wasn’t a spontaneous expression of lunacy. In fact, the would-be terrorist may have revealed his jihadist inclinations before the mass shooting. “Federal authorities in Alaska said Santiago told them prior to the attack that he was hearing voices and that his mind was being controlled by the CIA,” reports CNN.
It’s unclear why the feds didn’t take Santiago seriously. The most likely explanation is that his ranting may have led agents to believe that he was just a mentally-unbalanced young man.
Either way, federal authorities clearly dropped the ball on this one. Santiago wasn’t just serious. He was deadly serious about fully realizing his jihadi potential.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media may be even more oblivious than the FBI
To date, nearly every MSM source has all but ignored the fact that Santiago is a self-professed Muslim. Non-profit group Judicial Watch summarizes what public records searches uncovered:
The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online, according to public records dug up by the investigative news site of an award-winning, California journalist. This is pertinent information that the Obama administration apparently wants to keep quiet, bringing up memories of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya.
Rather than methodically examining Santiago’s possible religious motivations, MSM sources highlighted the terrorist’s apparent mental health issues. The liberal press didn’t bother to do any real digging into public records to shed light on Santiago’s past. Santiago may have in fact been mentally unstable, but the evidence pointing to his possible radical ideology is clearly worthy of more investigation.
Judicial Watch argues that the evidence points to Santiago being “a radical Islamic terrorist that’s seriously committed to Islam,” adding:
Besides taking on a Muslim name, he recorded three Islamic religious songs, including the Muslim declaration faith (“there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”) known as the Shahada. He also posted a thread about downloading propaganda videos from Islamic terrorists on a weapons and explosives forum. The investigative news site that unearthed this disturbing information connected the dots between Santiago, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Hammad, an identity he created in 2007.
This isn’t the first time the MSM has downplayed the possible links between terror suspects and radical Islam. From the San Bernardino shooters to the Ohio State jihadist, the big four news networks have tried to cast the spotlight away from their religious affiliations, redirecting attention to the supposed “epidemic” of “Islamophobia” or “marginalization” of Muslims as a reason for anti-American attacks.
Santiago, aka Aashiq Hammad, will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
According to CNN, “Santiago is charged with using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; performing an act of violence against a person at an airport serving international civil aviation that caused serious bodily injury; and causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm. The latter two are punishable by death, while the first charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.”
Santiago is set to appear in court again on January 30. He is currently being held without bond.