In the comments to my previous post on “Allies,” I included the Opening Statement by Judge Jeanine Pirro from Saturday night (9/20/14) about ISIS and their threat to us. Was she ever on target. In case you have not had a chance to watch it, or want to refresh your memories, here she is:
Some of an estimated 100 Americans who have traveled to the Middle East and joined terrorist organizations like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have returned to the United States, a senior administration official said Monday.
At a Monday briefing previewing an administration push for a United Nations resolution to prevent the flow of foreign citizens into conflict zones to join terrorist groups, a senior administration official said that an estimated 15,000 individuals had entered Iraq and Syria to join groups like ISIS and the al Nusra Front. The official said that 2,000 of those foreign fighters were European, and that 100 were Americans.
That number includes Americans “who may have tried to travel or those who have come back,” a second senior administration official said.
“It includes those who have gone, those who have tried to go, those who have come back and are under active — the FBI is looking at them,” the official said.
Let’s just put that “the FBI is looking at them” into perspective. Remember at who else the FBI was looking carefully? Major Nidal Hasan, as indicated by this Mother Jones’ headline: Internal Documents Reveal How the FBI Blew Fort Hood; Nearly a year before the massacre, the bureau intercepted emails between Nidal Hasan and radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki that officials called “fairly benign.” They are anything but. From the article:
[...] In the wake of the Fort Hood attacks, the exchanges between Awlaki and Hasan—who was convicted of murder on Friday—were the subject of intense speculation. But the public was given little information about these messages. While officials claimed that they were “fairly benign,” the FBI blocked then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s efforts to make them public as part of a two-year congressional investigation into Fort Hood. The military judge in the Hasan case also barred the prosecutor from presenting them, saying they would cause “unfair prejudice” and “undue delay.”
As it turns out, the FBI quietly released the emails in an unclassified report on the shooting, which was produced by an investigative commission headed by former FBI director William H. Webster last year. And, far from being “benign,” they offer a chilling glimpse into the psyche of an Islamic radical. The report also shows how badly the FBI bungled its Hasan investigation and suggests that the Army psychiatrist’s deadly rampage could have been prevented. [...] (Click here to read the rest.)
To say the FBI dropped the ball on Hasan, who Mother Jones was willing to name him for what he was, an Islamic radical, is a tremendous understatement. Especially since our government still, to this day, has refused to characterize Hasan’s actions as those of an Islamic radical, or even terrorism.
But Hasan wasn’t the only one. You may recall that the FBI had been tipped off by Russia regarding the radicalized Tsarnaev brothers. From CBS News:
The FBI admitted Friday they interviewed the now-deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years ago and failed to find any incriminating information about him.
As first reported by CBS News correspondent Bob Orr, the FBI interviewed Tsarnaev, the elder brother of at-large bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, at the request of a foreign government to see if he had any extremist ties, but failed to find any linkage.
CBS News correspondent John Miller reports it is likely Russia asked to have the elder Tsarnaev vetted because of suspected ties to Chechen extremists.
The FBI is likely to have run a background check, running his name through all the relevant databases, including those of other agencies, checking on his communications and all of his overseas travel. Miller reports that culminated in a sit-down interview where they probably asked him a lot of questions about his life, his contacts, his surroundings. All of this was then written in a report and sent it to the requesting government.
This is an issue they’ve had in the past. They interviewed Carlos Bledsoe in Little Rock, Ark., before he shot up an Army recruiting station in 2009. They were also looking into Major Hasan Nadal before the Fort Hood shootings. [...] (Click here to read the rest.)
I trust you understand why I might be just a tad wary of the assurances that the FBI is keeping an eye on them.
There is more from The Hill article and the “No, DUH!” realization:
That revelation could prompt new security concerns about the prospect that Americans who were radicalized abroad could do damage to the homeland. In repeated video messages, ISIS has threatened to target U.S. sites, including a video last week that included ominous footage of the White House.
“Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners — including Europeans and some Americans — have joined them in Syria and Iraq,” Obama said. “Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.”
One senior administration official said that there was currently a “full-court press across our intelligence” to combat the risk posed by the fighters, including new programs to intervene and prevent terrorist attacks from radicalized Americans. [...] (Click here to read the rest.)
Well, gosh – doesn’t all of this just engender trust in our Administration to get the job done, to protect us from these radicalized Americans who are a term the Administration cannot even make itself utter?? Yeah, it doesn’t for me, either.
Judge Pirro hit the nail on the head – we should be worried about ISIS in America. Especially now that Obama has started his (lawless) war on ISIS in Syria.
I might add, we should be worried about a President who acts as Obama has just done. It is far past time for Congress to stand up to this lawless President and rein him in. Not that Congress would not have given approval – but it was the role of Congress to do, not for Obama to do on his own. Yep – far past time to stop his lawlessness.
What do you think? This is an Open Thread.