Why did they not even alert Pamela Geller, the organizer of the event? Indeed. Comey should have been fired then.
By Steve Baldwin, American Spectator, May 12, 2017:
A record of political correctness in the war on terror.
FBI Director James Comey was incompetent and as FBI Director, his policies placed the lives of American citizens at risk. An in-depth look at his record as FBI Director reveals an incredible naivety toward the Islamic terror threat and a willingness to appease radical Muslims at the expense of protesting Americans. This piece will not address Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal or his failure to investigate the obvious illegal pay-for play schemes concocted by the Clinton Foundation.
Nor will it look at his failure to prosecute anyone associated with the IRS’s effort to silence hundreds of political groups during Obama’s reelection or his refusal to come clean about his knowledge of how numerous Americans were “unmasked” for having the audacity of associating with Donald Trump. No, this is just a peek at how the FBI under Comey handled the Islamic terrorist threat. Thanks to a lazy media, the popular image most Americans have of Comey is that he’s a superb administrator, a straight shooting Boy Scout and an Eliot Ness kind of guy who aggressively puts all the bad guys away.
In 2011, in one of the most incredible acts of stupidity ever by the FBI, the agency agreed to purge its counter-terrorism documents of terms, concepts, and statements that a number of Islamic pressure groups objected to. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, forced the FBI to release documents about this purge which revealed that the FBI systematically purged some 900 pages and 392 presentations deemed “offensive” to Muslims. This occurred under the previous FBI director Robert Mueller as a result of meeting with Islamic pressure groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both named in 2007 as unindicted co-conspirators in a case involving raising funds for Islamic terrorists.
This purge crippled the FBI’s ability to track terrorists and many believe the loss of this intelligence caused the FBI to miss clues that could have prevented future terrorist attacks. Indeed, Judicial Watch actually called the purge “part of a broader Islamist ‘influence operation’ aimed at our government and Constitution.”
The purged documents including records linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, probably because the Obama Administration had, by this time, appointed a number of MB sympathizers to key positions and was quietly supporting Muslim Brotherhood political movements in a number of countries such as Egypt and Libya. The purge also deleted all usage of the term “radical Islam,” and any statement that defined “Jihad” as “Holy War,” even though that’s the definition used by Islamic terrorists. Strangely, the FBI also destroyed all documents linking al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombings, despite the fact these are important events in the terrorist timeline.
Judicial Watch also revealed that the purge also “removed references to mosques specifically as a radicalization incubator,” even though every intelligence service in the world knows that mosques are regularly used to plan and organize terror attacks. FBI agents were even told what words they could not use in writing reports on terror threats. Banned words included sharia, jihad, Muslim, Islam, Muslim Brotherhood, enemy, Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda. The FBI was basically more concerned about the feelings of radical Muslims than the security of American citizens.
While the file purging occurred under Bureau head Robert Mueller two years before Comey took the helm, there is no evidence Comey made any effort to restore these files and all evidence indicates that he continued to use this politically correct mindset as he investigated the Jihadist threat in the U.S.A. And it soon became a heavy price to pay.
Indeed, one of the FBI documents obtained by JW titled “Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training” stated that “mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).”
In other words, the FBI was instructing its agents that if a person is found to be involved with a group that advocates “violent extremism,” they are not to assume the person is involved with violent extremism! This give-the-benefit-of-the-doubt-to-potential-terrorists mindset is what may have caused the FBI to ignore clues that could have stopped the Ft. Hood, Orlando, San Bernardino, and other terrorist attacks even though it had prior knowledge about the Islamic extremist connections of those who carried out those attacks.
Again, while this FBI document was produced pre-Comey, it is clear from the FBI’s performance that he never disavowed the “Guiding Principles” mindset and that they continued to follow the philosophy of appeasing Muslim pressure groups even at the expense of protecting Americans.
Indeed, Comey never broke with any of Director Mueller’s appeasement policies. For example, the FBI under Comey continue to maintain friendly ties with radical Islamic groups, namely the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the group mentioned earlier as a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial. Even though the Justice Department banned the FBI from associating with CAIR, a number of FBI Field offices continued friendly relations with this extremist group. Ultimately, the Justice Department’s Inspector General (IG) investigated the FBI and its final report exposed the Bureau’s friendly interactions with CAIR at its Los Angeles, Chicago, New Haven and Philadelphia field offices.
Congressman Frank Wolf wrote, “Today, the Department’s Inspector General… confirms the blatant disregard of Bureau policy as well as multiple enacted Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations reports with respect to interactions by the FBI with CAIR.” The DOJ IG report even revealed that the director of the Los Angeles FBI office urged his staff to disregard this policy: “Please instruct your folks at this time that they are not to abide by the [directive to have no contact with CAIR] but that their direction in regards to CAIR will come from the LA field office front office.” While this occurred at the very beginning of Comey’s term, there is no evidence that Comey did anything to discourage these contacts.
And it gets worse. Judicial Watch reported that the FBI in 2015 created an interactive website called “Don’t be a Puppet,” for the purpose of preventing “susceptible youth from getting recruited online by terrorists,” but they were pressured by Islamic groups to omit all mention of Islamic terrorism. Comey caved and the site was changed to feature white supremacists, militia groups, religious extremists and so on, even though terrorist acts by such groups are quite rare while Islamic terrorists have committed tens of thousands of terror acts worldwide since 9/11. The only time the website mentions Islam is when it explains that Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS “do not represent mainstream Islam.”
But the idea that obscure militias and white supremacists pose a threat to the national security in the same way as do Islamic terrorists happens to be a favorite theme of the loony left and Comey seems to have bought into this fantasy. Indeed, in 2015, Comey’s g-men stormed into a meeting of the Republic of Texas, a Texan secessionist movement. At the time of the raid, reported WorldNetDaily, the group “was debating issues of currency, international relations and celebrating the birthday” of one of their members. Sounds threatening. None of these guys were wanted terrorists or had ever engaged in any activity remotely threatening national security. Nevertheless, they were all fingerprinted and had their cell phones seized. If Comey’s FBI is really spending time, money and effort investigating and harassing harmless groups like the Republic of Texas, no wonder the agency missed numerous clues on many high profile Islamic terrorist cases under Comey’s watch. Clearly, they are allocating its resources based on political correctness, not reality.
Before Comey became director, the FBI initiated a policy that actually banned the FBI from conducting surveillance of mosques and instructed agents to “remove their shoes” before entering a mosque (what if they have to chase a suspect?), wait for the worship service to be over before entering, and not allow police dogs to sniff for explosives. The rules do not appear to apply to investigations involving Christian churches. Nor did Comey make any effort to change this policy even though Mosques have repeatedly been implicated in Islamic terror plots worldwide.
Moreover, Comey continued Director Mueller’s practice of heavily recruiting Muslims to be agents with apparently very little vetting. Indeed, the FBI placed recruitment ads in the publications of extremist Islamic groups with the slogan “Today’s FBI. It’s for You.” And it paid off. Indeed, WorldNetDaily broke a story that a Muslim agent working for the Los Angeles FBI field office “tipped off a Muslim suspect under investigation for terrorism about FBI surveillance.”
In years past, such a violation would result in not just the agent being fired, but also being prosecuted. However, this agent was allowed to remain with the FBI with only a reprimand! Moreover, other Muslim FBI agents have been exposed for assisting radical Islamic groups but the only consequence has been a transfer to another FBI office. Congressional investigators should review the FBI’s hiring and vetting polices when it comes to Muslims, because it’s likely Comey may have hired a slew of agents who are more loyal to the Jihad than to the U.S.A. Again, there’s no evidence that Comey did anything to change or reform aggressive hiring policies which actually targeted radical Muslims, not moderates.
But let’s take a look at how Comey’s FBI actually handled a few of the more well known domestic terror cases during his tenure.
In 2015, an Islamic couple from Pakistan murdered 14 people and injured 22 others at an after work Christmas party in San Bernardino. The terrorist couple, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, spent time in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and used bomb technology commonly used by al Qaeda. The two jihadists were linked to Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic extremist sect with a history of supporting terrorism. However, all records related to this particular group were purged from the National Targeting Center database, according to former DHS counter-terror analyst Philip Haney, who stated that “this Administration is more concerned about the civil rights and civil liberties of foreign Islamic groups and foreign nationals than securing the freedom and security of the American public.” NTC’s data is shared with the FBI. Had Comey made any effort to restore these valuable counter-terrorism files, there’s a chance the Bureau could have prevented this attack. But again, there is no record of any push-back by Director Comey to recover counter-terrorism files. Too bad, it would have saved American lives.
Also in 2015, two terrorists attempted to kill attendees at an event in Garland, TX hosted by anti-Jihad activist Pamela Geller, at which participants were drawing images of Muhammad, which is considered a sacrilege by Muslims. The terrorists had enough ammunition to kill dozens of people and they did wound one security guard before being shot dead. But the attack could have been prevented because not only did the FBI know the terrorists were planning something but, as 60 Minutes reported, they had an undercover agent working with them who sent an encouraging text to the terrorists three weeks prior to the attack: “Tear up Texas.”
That’s bad enough, but 60 Minutes also revealed that this agent was actually at the location of the terror attack. He was in a car behind the car containing the terrorists but when they opened fire on a security guard, his reaction was to photograph them. He did not intervene. Why not? And why weren’t more FBI agents placed at the event to stop the attack? Or prevent it before it even started? Why did they not even alert Pamela Geller, the organizer of the event? As Geller states, “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Obama FBI wanted me and the other speakers at the even dead.” This was a display of incredible incompetence, but neither the FBI nor Comey have ever been forced to explain their actions.
When Ahmad Kan Rahami set off powerful bombs in Manhattan in 2016, injuring 31 people, it was reported by the New York Times that Rahami’s father had informed the FBI two years previously that “he feared his son was a terrorist.” The FBI investigated and cleared him, even though, as the Times reports, “they never interviewed Mr. Rahami.” Nor did they adequately scrutinize the suspicious trips Rahami made overseas to both Pakistan and Quetta. It is likely those trips were to receive bomb-making training. Why would the FBI not even question him? Is this how the FBI “clears” potential terrorists under James Comey?
In 2016, Omar Mateen, murdered 49 people and injured 53 at an Orlando nightclub. The FBI twice investigated Mateen; one investigation was initiated because Mateen was in contact with a suicide bomber; the 2nd one began because he made threatening comments to co-workers. Both investigations were closed; the later one due to FBI’s belief that Mateen was making terrorist threats only as a reaction to “being marginalized because of his Muslim Faith.”
Yes, the FBI believed that the problem was not Mateen, but rather his “racist” co-workers. The FBI also knew Mateen had traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and that his father posted pro-Taliban videos online. Finally, a gun store owner called the FBI shortly before the attack to report Mateen’s effort to buy body armor and ammunition. But the FBI did nothing. Due to political correctness, the FBI could not or would not connect the dots and 49 people paid the price. Moreover, Mateen attended a radical mosque in Orlando, but since Comey’s FBI refused to investigate terror-supporting mosques, they cut themselves off from finding out any additional information about Mateen. Incredibly, in response to this murderous attack, FBI special agent Ron Hopper announced that “civil rights violations are a priority for the FBI,” referring not to the victims of Mateen, but to anyone who might say anything negative about Muslims. This is not a joke.
Lastly, the FBI under Comey has ignored a large network of domestic terrorist training compounds. In his book, Twilight in America, author and researcher Martin Mawyer documents the existence of at least two dozen compounds in rural areas operated by a terror group known as “Muslims of America (MOA).” MOA’s Islamic name is “Jamaat ul-Fuqra” and its leader is Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, a radical jihadist cleric who mentored the Christmas Day bomber and many other terrorists. He has declared jihad on America and his compounds are clearly involved with training jihadists. Indeed, MOE members were involved with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Before Obama came to power, the FBI prepared a report about these Islamic warriors: “MOA members have participated in ten murders; one disappearance; three fire bombings and one attempted firebombing and two explosive bombings with one attempted bombing…. the leadership of the MOA extols members to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam which Include the U.S. Government.…members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”
There is little doubt the FBI possesses enough information about MOA’s activities to obtain court warrants to search their compounds or wiretap its phones, but Mawyer says that his sources tell him “the FBI under Comey showed no interest in investigating these compounds.” Mawyer says while a few field agents understand what these camps are really all about, many in the FBI “Think they are just Muslims who want to be left alone.” Sure. Meanwhile, these compounds continue training jihadists unimpeded. Mawyer has spent twenty years researching MOA and its network of compounds but Comey wouldn’t know him from Adam. In any case, the latest chatter from MOA operatives is a fear that Trump will actually close down their compounds. They will miss Comey dearly.
While Comey made quite a media splash informing Americans that the FBI is investigating ISIS-related terrorists in all 50 states, one now has to wonder how many of these investigations are just for show? Or how many cases will the FBI drop for fear of offending Muslims?
If Congress would spend more time investigating the FBI’s competency, rather than phony Russian conspiracy theories, perhaps someday we will have an FBI that’s not driven by political correctness. In the age of terrorism, we need a FBI Director who is fearless and aggressive in investigating Islamic terrorism. Comey has bungled many high profile Islamic terror cases under his watch. Trump did the right thing by firing him and he needs to now hire someone who will ignore political correctness and do what is necessary to keep America safe from Islamic terrorism.