By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) The FBI hasn’t has had a great couple of years, but then again, when you get right down to it, the agency hasn’t had much in the way of leadership for a decade.
Still smarting from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s damning report about certain agents’ abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court during the politicized ‘counterintelligence investigation’ of the 2016 Trump campaign for ‘Russian collusion,’ the IG slammed the bureau again in a new report for failing to follow up on known domestic terrorist threats.
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As reported by The Epoch Times, Horowitz noted in a 41-page report released last week that several individuals identified by the bureau as so-called homegrown violent extremists, or HVEs, were allowed to commit terrorist acts because agents failed conduct follow-up investigations after being flagged as possible threats.
“The FBI has not taken a comprehensive approach to resolving deficiencies in its counterterrorism assessment process,” Horowitz wrote.
The news site noted further:
The report, which covered the time from November 2009 to January 2017, found shortcomings in the FBI’s efforts to prevent mass attacks by U.S. residents who have been inspired by international terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, which the agency says is its highest counterterrorism priority.
For example, the FBI closed the cases of at least six terrorists who killed 70 people in separate attacks between 2009 and 2017 after the bureau determined they were not national security threats, Horowitz said. The FBI’s shortcomings allowed multiple HVEs to go on and commit deadly attacks, including the perpetrators of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, a number of foreign radical organizations have managed to recruit an indoctrinate people already living in the United States who have killed more than 100 people, the New America Foundation said in a paper.
Horowitz, in his report, noted that more than 20 attacks have been carried out by American jihadists since 9/11.
White supremacist groups and others on the far-Right have recently eclipsed those jihadi totals, Horowitz said, and of course, the Democrat-led House is ‘stepping up to meet those threats,’ The Epoch Times noted.
Mary McCord, a law professor at Georgetown University and a former senior Justice Department official for national security, told The New York Times last week that more people in the United States are killed by far-Right extremists than by “those who are adherents to Islamist extremism.”
“The FBI has acknowledged that various weaknesses related to its assessment process may have impacted its ability to fully investigate certain counterterrorism assessment subjects, who later committed terrorist acts in the United States,” Horowitz wrote in his report.
The IG noted further that though the FBI seemed to recognize its shortcomings, it had “not taken sufficient action” to fix the issues. He also documented that roughly 40 percent of the bureau’s counterterrorism assessments went unaddressed for 18 months, although officials were aware of lapses in their investigations.
As to the alleged threat from the far-Right that we keep hearing about, that certainly runs counter to what we’ve seen on the ground in far-Left enclaves, where Antifa-related groups are permitted to terrorize conservatives and Trump supporters almost at will. The FBI supposedly opened an investigation into these groups in 2017, but now we know what happened to it: Nothing.
Rarely does a week go by that we don’t hear or read about another incidence of violence committed against a Trump supporter — incidents that we expect to only increase as the 2020 presidential campaign season ramps up and it begins to look less likely any Democrat eventually nominated will beat him in November.
Still, the crux of Horowitz’s report — that the bureau has repeatedly failed to follow up on what appear to be jihadi threats — has got to be a leadership directive: Stop focusing on “Muslims” because ‘bigotry’ and all that nonsense. Meanwhile, known suspects were left to their own devices and went on to kill Americans.
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These are leadership failures of the highest order. But then, when the bosses were focused on things like weaponizing the agency on behalf of a Democratic presidential contender, what should we expect?
Attorney General William Barr has his work cut out for him, that’s for certain. So does FBI Director Christopher Wray, but of the two, we find him to be the weakest — as in, the most bureaucratic — link.
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