There are terrorists in our midst and they arrived here using legal means right under the noses of the federal law enforcement agencies whose mission is to stop them. That is not due to malfeasance or lack of effort on the part of these officers; it is due to the restrictions placed on them by the Obama administration.
The Hill I was a firsthand witness to how these policies deliberately prevented scrutiny of Islamist groups. The two San Bernardino jihadists, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, may have benefited from the administration’s closure of an investigation I initiated on numerous groups infiltrating radicalized individuals into this country.
While working for the Department of Homeland Security, we created records of individuals, mosques, Islamic Centers and schools across the United States that were involved in this radicalization effort. The Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino was affiliated with this network and we had identified a member of it in our investigation. Farook frequented that mosque and was well-known to the congregation and mosque.
Another focus of my investigation was the Pakistani women’s Islamist group al-Huda, which counted Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, as a student. We had these two groups in our sights; if the investigation had continued and additional links been identified and dots connected, we might have given advance warning of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
But after more than six months of research and tracking; over 1,200 law enforcement actions and more than 300 terrorists identified, DHS shut down the investigation at the request of the Department of State and DHS’ own Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division.
They claimed that since the Islamist groups in question were not Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations (SDTOs) tracking individuals related to these groups was a violation of the travelers’ civil liberties. These were almost exclusively foreign nationals: When were they granted the civil rights and liberties of American citizens?
Worse still, the administration then went back and erased the dots we were diligently connecting. In 2013, I met with the DHS Inspector General in coordination with several members of Congress to attempt to warn the American people’s elected representatives about the threat.
In retaliation, DHS and the Department of Justice subjected me to a series of investigations and adverse actions, including one by that same Inspector General. None of them showed any wrongdoing; they seemed aimed at stopping me from blowing the whistle on this problem.
In short, the Obama administration is more concerned with the rights of non-citizens in known Islamist groups than with the safety and security of the American people.