Saturday, February 17, 2018

FBI Ignored Multiple Warnings about Nikolas Cruz

The FBI issued an official statement on Friday admitting their mishandling of a tip about Nikolas Cruz a month before he murdered 17 people on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

According to the statement:

“On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.

“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.

“We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray added:

“We are still investigating the facts. I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public. It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.

“We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy. All of the men and women of the FBI are dedicated to keeping the American people safe, and are relentlessly committed to improving all that we do and how we do it.”

The FBI was also warned about Nikolas Cruz in September of last year after he commented on YouTube bragging that he was going to become a “professional school shooter.” However, despite Cruz posting under his own name, the agency said they couldn’t identify the user who made the threat, according to Robert Lasky, the FBI agent in charge of the Miami division.
This marks two opportunities the bureau missed to bring Cruz into custody before he commited the “mass casualty event” on Wednesday. These revelations add to a troubling history of the FBI having information — and even contact with attackers — prior to them committing mass atrocities.

It should also be noted that while the FBI failed to intervene in the case of Nikolas Cruz, the agency actively searches for and inspires similarly vulnerable individuals with the goal of convincing them to plan terror plots with the help of federal informants. When the FBI swoops in and foils the plot, they are often celebrated for thwarting the potential attack despite the fact that it helped manufacture the plot to begin with.

As the federal government continues to encroach on privacy and expands its spying powers against U.S. citizens, it’s clear law enforcement agencies are failing to use the tools they already have to effectively combat genuine threats against the American public. (TAM)

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