If you spot a raging fire, you can call the fire department. If you see a mugging in progress, you can call the police. If you hear a radical Islamist making threats to kill people, you can call the FBI. Oops!
With the Orlando terrorist attack of last Sunday, June 12, our nation’s “Plan A” for preventing terrorist attacks has just collapsed: “See something, say something” is an empty slogan if no one is listening, and we now know the FBI is not listening.
Political correctness has claimed its ultimate victim, law enforcement. If you think that is an exaggeration, you too have slept through the Orlando wake up call. If you think the FBI and the “Counter-Terrorism Task Force” that operates in every major city is watching and monitoring the activities of several thousand Islamist radicals, wake up. That has been exposed as a feel-good fairytale.
In the Orlando case, we now know that the FBI was not only aware of Omar Mateen’s radicalism, agents had interviewed him twice since 2013 and had decided he was not an imminent threat — this despite several concrete instances of openly hostile behavior. Co-workers had “seen something and said something,” but to no avail. A few short weeks ago, a gun store owner had reported to the FBI Mateen’s visit and odd questions about ammunition and body armor, and yet the FBI did no reopen his case. After all, he had been investigated and he had been cleared. Ooops.
The FBI explanation of “lack of resources” to investigate every case just does not wash in Mateen’s case. Yes, it is undoubtedly true that they do not have the manpower to do an in-depth investigation of the thousands of Islamists who appear to be “radicalized”– and that number is itself a well-kept secret. But in this case, the FBI did have the resources to interview the man– twice– and also had eyewitness coworkers and other evidence of radicalization, and still they closed his file without taking action. That failure is what awaits a full explanation, and that explanation will put a bright spotlight ion the real problem within the FBI– the triumph of political correctness over national security.
It’s not hard to understand why even the FBI is vulnerable to political correctness, when PC has even taken a toll in the U.S. Army and Marines. Civilian control of the military means civilian political appointees, not military leaders, are setting recruitment goals and rewriting training standards. If President Obama’s appointees at the Pentagon order the Army to hire Muslim ministers to counsel soldiers, they will do it– and most likely, from a list of organizations approved by the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Political correctness knows no boundaries.
The FBI has said in recent congressional testimony that it has more than 1,000 potential Islamist terrorists under surveillance nationwide. That number does not include individuals like Omar Mateen, and therein lies the problem.
Imagine your local police department has interviewed a man who was reported to be threatening to blow up the local Catholic school because he hates Catholics. Upon questioning, police determine he has no “ties” to known international anti-Catholic hate groups, and so, they take no action. The man then purchases bomb-making materials– legally — and with his wife, and starts scouting all the Catholic schools in the area. Still, the police department does not intervene and expresses surprise after the man kills 49 schoolchildren with his homemade bomb. Oops.
Let’s review those rules of engagement. It looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck. But it is not a member of any known international duck organization, so, it can’t be a duck.
In the Orlando case, Americans are asked to excuse the FBI malfeasance because they found no evidence of his taking direction from Al-Qaeda or ISIS. The FBI discounted related facts, such as that Mateen had bragged about being a member of Hezbollah, and that on the morning of 9-11 while a 14-year-old in class at school, after seeing the second plane hit the South Tower, he smiled and stood up and shouted that his uncle was Osama bin Laden.
It may well be true that Mateen acted without “direction” from a foreign terrorist organization. Instead, he acted on his own timetable and under the tutelage of his radicalized Muslim parent and the imam at is local mosque, a mosque that regularly hears the message that all homosexuals must die.
Thus, our law enforcement agencies are taking refuge in the fact that the assassin did not act on the explicit direction of ISIS and apparently did not publicly pledge his loyalty to ISIS until already engaged in the murder of the patrons at the Pulse nightclub. However, he did post this statement on his Facebook page before going on his murderous rampage:
The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west….
You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes . . . now taste the Islamic state vengeance.
In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, the question Americans must answer is far more fundamental and disquieting than the matter of FBI resources.
If over half of four million American Muslims believe in the superiority of Shariah law over the US Constitution, then how many of them agree with Omar Mateen that “real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the West”?
How do we deal with not a couple of thousand individuals with identifiable ties to ISIS or al-Qaeda but with a few million angry Islamists like Omar Mateen — including American-born children of immigrant Muslims from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and other places that have tens of millions of radicalized Muslims?
An obviously related question must be asked as well — and answered by our politicians — Why are we adding to that population by continuing to annually admit over 500,000 Muslim refugees and immigrants?
The Orlando and San Bernardino Islamist attacks were wake-up calls. Both wake up calls have been ignored by Obama and most Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan.
What other atrocities must we endure before we hear the message? The problem is not ISIS; the problem is Islam and its deep hostility to the West.
Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.
Tom represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.
He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security.