We keep hearing that the Orlando terrorist was a “Lone Wolf” attack inspired by “what he saw on the Internet” but not coordinated with any foreign entity or organized terrorist network. We also hear that although the FBI had investigated Omar Mateen years ago, there was no way they could have known he was about to commit the bloodiest terror attack in the US since 9/11.
A new report from ABC News flies in the face of both of those narratives.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 16, 2016
Not only did Robert Abell, owner of Lotus Gunworks in Jensen Beach, FL notify the FBI several weeks ago about a man making suspicious inquiries in his store, but specific behavior from the man (who Abell identifies as Mateen) suggests there may have been a co-conspirator, possibly of foreign origin, in Mateen’s terror attacks.
“About five or six weeks ago, Omar Mateen came into the store and he was requesting body armor,” Abell told a group of reporters at a press conference he assembled outside his gun store Thursday afternoon. Abell’s employee grew suspicious of Mateen after a series of questions that, according to Abell, were “not normal questions about body armor.”
After being turned away on his body armor requests, Mateen then did something that should raise eyebrows and red flags at the Department of Homeland Security.
“At this time, he pulled away and got on his cell phone. When he was on the cell phone he had a conversation in a foreign language. That was more concerning. Then he came back and he was requesting ammo. He wanted bulk ammo only. At this time we declined any business and he left the store.”
You heard right. When denied the purchase of body armor, “Lone Wolf” Omar Mateen got on the phone, had a conversation in a foreign language and then started asking about purchasing large quantities of ammunition. Abell then contacted the FBI, reported everything that had occurred in his store and that was the last thing he heard until Sunday morning when he saw Mateen’s face plastered across his television.
“He slipped through the cracks,” Abell said.
So Mr. Abell’s story destroys two important narratives from the Obama Administration.
The first narrative is that Orlando was a “Lone Wolf” attack that the FBI couldn’t possibly have been detected or prevented.
Who was he talking to on the phone in a foreign language? Why did he have to consult with someone after being denied body armor? Was it someone who was advising him on his plans for a terror attack? Did his advisor then instruct him to buy bulk ammo, instead?
In his shameless push for increased restrictions on your 2nd amendment rights yesterday in Orlando, the president made that case. In fact, the “Lone Wolf” scenario was used as the entire premise to justify those proposed infringements:
“But given the fact that the last two terrorist attacks on our soil — Orlando and San Bernardino — were homegrown, carried out it appears not by external plotters, not by vast networks or sophisticated cells, but by deranged individuals warped by the hateful propaganda that they had seen over the Internet, then we’re going to have to do more to prevent these kinds of events from occurring. It’s going to take more than just our military. It’s going to require more than just our intelligence teams. As good as they are, as dedicated as they are, as focused as they are, if you have lone wolf attacks like this, hatched in the minds of a disturbed person, then we’re going to have to take different kinds of steps in order to prevent something like this from happening.”
If Mateen was coordinating with another individual in a foreign language, it undermines the critical “Lone Wolf” narrative, does it not?
The second narrative is that the FBI couldn’t have known in any way that this attack was being hatched. Actually, they had the perfect warning. They had a gun shop owner inform them that a person of foreign descent was attempting to purchase items that are directly related to a mass shooting attack and that person had direct contact with someone speaking a foreign language who appeared to be consulting with the suspicious man.
I mean, I know we are dealing with 20/20 hindsight here, but if you’re working at the FBI and you get a tip like this, shouldn’t it find its way to the top of the heap? Sadly, no one came to Mr. Abell’s store to study his surveillance tape. If they had, perhaps they would have connected dots back to the man they had investigated and cleared several years before.
So, why didn’t they follow up? Is it possible that some of the factors that made Mateen suspicious in the gun shop owner’s mind (speaking in a foreign language, etc) are disqualifying categories for “suspicious activity” when it come to the Obama Justice Department? I’m just asking the question, but the use of a foreign language in the midst of the purchase of large amounts of ammo and body armor may be suspicious to Mr. Abell, but when an FBI agent needs to evaluate the suspicion level of this tip, if they are not allowed (by mandate from Obama’s Justice Department) to take race or ethnicity into account when they are making the determination whether the tip deserves extra scrutiny, perhaps that pushed this red flag further down the list of priorities.
One final narrative is destroyed by Mr. Abell’s story. This one doesn’t come from the Obama Administration as much as it comes from the mainstream media (although, when it comes to the gun control agenda, one can be forgiven for mistaking one for the other.) Ever since the terror attacks in Orlando, multiple media organizations have taken it upon themselves to attempt to scare the American people by showing some sort of defect in our gun laws by staging purchases of firearms at gun stores:
These stories are flawed, manipulative and, in some cases, outright lies. Our friends at Bearing Arms have done a great job fleshing that out. But, they have a cumulative effect on people who are not paying attention. They send the signal that gun shop owners are profit-mongering goons who couldn’t care less if some maniac or Jihadist walks out of their stores with all the tools to murder as many innocent Americans as they can.
Mr. Robert Abell of Lotus Gunworks flies in the face of that false narrative. He did the right thing. He did the patriotic thing. He was ignored. Will we see his story spread as far and wide as you’ve seen the stories that promote the notion that there is something wrong with the 2nd amendment?
If you spread the news, maybe we will.
Here is the entire, unedited press conference Mr. Abell gave courtesy of the West Palm Beach ABC affiliate, WPTV: