“There are many holes in Mr. Haney’s story,” a DHS official told Fox News’ Trace Gallagher, but “they couldn’t comment further because of privacy laws.” That caveat certainly sounds intriguing, but it seems like a non-sequitur to the issues Philip Haney is raising in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack that left 14 dead and 22 injured before police killed the perpetrators in a shoot-out. Haney claimed in an interview with Megyn Kelly last night that he had traced foreign Islamist terror networks to the mosque which Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik attended — but that his work got stopped by DHS and State for “profiling” Muslims (via Daily Caller):
But a year into the investigation, Haney said they got a visit from the State Department and the Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, who said that tracking these groups was problematic because they were Islamic.
His investigation was shut down and 67 of his records were deleted, including one into an organization with ties to the mosque in Riverside, Calif., that San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook attended.
Haney explained that if his work was allowed to continue, it could possibly have thwarted last week’s attack.
“Either Syed would have been put on the no-fly list because association with that mosque, and/or the K-1 visa that his wife was given may have been denied because of his association with a known organization,” Haney explained.
If people want to know why Donald Trump’s demagoguery finds a foothold, it’s because of issues like this. “Political correctness kills,” Marc Thiessen says, but the Obama administration provides a constant stream of it. Even that wouldn’t be a problem if people thought that it was limited to rhetoric, and that the government was working behind the scenes to rationally protect the US from the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. After all, George W. Bush offered the same assurances about America’s embrace of peaceful and enlightened Muslims as Obama does. However, the constant reluctance to even name obvious jihadist attacks as terrorism — such as the years-long insistence by Obama himself in referring to the Fort Hood shooting as “workplace violence” until just this past Sunday — and the exploitation of these attacks to push to disarm law-abiding citizens convinces many Americans that Obama doesn’t take the threat seriously. Haney’s story just reinforces that conclusion, although it remains to be seen whether it can be corroborated.
The Los Angeles Times reports today that the San Bernardino attack could have been a lot worse:
An examination of digital equipment recovered from the home of the couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last week has led FBI investigators to believe the shooters were planning an even larger assault, according to federal government sources.
Investigators on Thursday continued to search for digital footprints left by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, scouring a downtown San Bernardino lake for electronic items, including a hard drive that the couple was hoping to destroy, sources told The Times.
FBI agents will probably spend days searching Seccombe Lake and canvassing the neighborhood for clues after receiving a tip that the couple may have visited the area on the day of the attack, according to David Bowdich, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
Farook and Malik were in the final planning stages of an assault on a location or building that housed a lot more people than the Inland Regional Center, possibly a nearby school or college, according to federal sources familiar with the widening investigation.
Well, it was bad enough as it was. If Haney is telling the truth, then even the attack that took place could possibly have been prevented. Hiding behind vague insinuations about “privacy” won’t cut it. Congress needs to find out whether our counterterrorism operations are becoming crippled by oversensitivity and a lack of will. The public conduct of American leadership certainly points in that direction.