According to an inspector general report released Wednesday, the FBI missed opportunities to stop at least five domestic terrorists who, in total, killed 70 Americans.
“[Inspector General] report finds HVEs (Homegrown Violent Extremists) carried out 20+ attacks (since 9/11) in US, ‘some of which occurred after the FBI closed a counterterrorism investigation..FBI has not taken sufficient action to address weaknesses,” CBS News’ Catherine Herridge reported Wednesday.
BREAKING: IG report finds HVEs (Homegrown Violent Extremists) carried out 20+ attacks (since 9/11) in US, “some of which occurred after the FBI closed a counterterrorism investigation..FBI has not taken sufficient action to address weaknesses” @CBSNews https://t.co/0zNzEHTZSm
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) March 4, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, Herridge added: “New IG report ‘…we found at least six attacks committed in the United States by individuals who the FBI had previously assessed or investigated…’ including 2009 Fort Hood, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, 2016 Pulse Nightclub.”
“The FBI has acknowledged that various weaknesses related to its assessment process may have impacted its ability to fully investigate certain counterterrorism assessment subjects, who later committed terrorist acts in the United States,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in the report, as reported by The Washington Times.
The FBI “failed to conduct follow-up investigations of people identified as violent extremists,” the report outlined, the Times notes.
The murderous terrorist action that followed the apparent FBI slips include the 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the 2009 Fort Hood massacre, and an attack at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017.
Following the release of the report, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ripped former FBI Director James Comey on social media Thursday.
“When I asked James comey after the Pulse mass shooting if in retrospect the FBI concluded too soon that [redacted] was not a threat. The arrogant Comey refused to admit any mistake & maintained the opinion that [redacted] was not a threat. Comey: tell that to the 49 people who died,” Paul wrote on Twitter. (As a matter of policy, The Daily Wire does not print names of mass killers.)
According to former FBI head of the agency’s New York office, Lewis Schiliro, the blame of the mishaps largely falls on the “bureaucracy, not the agents, who are hamstrung with limited resources and 90-day time constraints on preliminary investigations if no immediate threat is found,” the Times reports.
“It’s going to be a judgment call,” Schiliro explained about cases being closed or receiving follow-ups. “Agents get hundreds of cases a day, and you are limited where you can apply your resources.”
“Anytime there is criticism, of course, it undermines the public faith in the bureau, and that can never be good because the FBI depends on the public trust,” he added.
According to the Times, recommendations for the FBI “include implementing guidelines from a 2017 internal bureau review of its Guardian threat assessment system, providing clear guidance to field offices on investigative steps, and establishing a plan to assess threats with mental health concerns.”
“We agree it is important to continue to improve the assessment process, provide adequate guidance, training and program management for all Guardians and those specifically addressing homegrown violent extremists,” responded the FBI’s Suzanne Turner.
The full IG report can be viewed here.