“We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, uh, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community, uh, but we’re continuing to work to find motive and, and we will continue on that path.”
That was Matt DeSarno, FBI special agent in charge, after the hostage incident in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday. It was bizarre statement, as Robert Spencer noted, because the hostage-taker’s demands revolved around imprisoned jihadist Aafia Siddiqui, also known as “Lady al Qaeda.” The FBI knew that but was “continuing to work to find motive.” It was as though the Great Brinks Robbery of 1950 left the FBI gasping in bewilderment.
The FBI did not name the “subject” of the Colleyville “engagement,” nor any of the hostages, including the rabbi. Also unspoken was the biggest FBI lapse of all. The nation’s most powerful law enforcement agency failed to prevent “the subject,” Malik Faisal Akram, from taking the hostages in the first place. That recalls another act of Islamic terrorism just down the road at Fort Hood, Texas.
In 2009, U.S Army major Nidal Hasan was communicating with al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki about killing American soldiers then shipping out to Afghanistan. As Lessons from Fort Hood confirms, The FBI was fully aware of the communications but the Washington office of the FBI called off surveillance of Hasan. On November 5, 2009, at Fort Hood, Hasan gunned down 13 unarmed American soldiers and wounded more than 30 others in the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.
On November 9, CNN reported, “no charges have been filed, and authorities have not identified a motive in Thursday’s attack.” The FBI said its investigation “indicates that the alleged gunman acted alone and was not part of a broader terrorist plot.” For the composite character David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, it was only “workplace violence,” and he failed to identify Hasan or name a single one of his victims.
Vice president Joe Biden said, “Jill and I join the President and Michelle in expressing our sympathies to the families of the brave soldiers who fell today. We are all praying for those who were wounded and hoping for their full and speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the entire Fort Hood community as they deal with this senseless tragedy.”
Like the composite character, Biden failed to identify Hasan or name any of his victims, including Pvt. Francheska Velez, who was pregnant and died crying “my baby!” For the Delaware Democrat, it was just a senseless tragedy, not an Islamic terrorist attack, an atrocity, a crime, or even a case of gun violence.
After Malik Faisal Akram took four hostages in Colleyville on Saturday, Biden told reporters, “I don’t – we don’t have I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue.” In similar style, Biden’s January 15 statement failed to name Malik Faisal Akram or any of the hostages, and “there is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker.”
Biden also thanked state, local and “federal law enforcement,” for rescuing the hostages but showed no curiosity about the FBI’s failure to prevent Malik Faisal Akram from taking the hostages. After Fort Hood, the FBI failed to prevent Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino (2015, 14 dead) and Omar Mateen’s terrorist attack in Orlando (2016, 49 dead). It remains unclear whether anyone in the FBI was disciplined, demoted or dismissed over these failures, but a ballpark figure would be zero.
As Spencer explains, the composite character president quickly “scrubbed all counterterror training materials that made any mention of Islamic texts and teachings,” and cut ties with all independent contractors “who were teaching agents about the beliefs and goals of jihad terrorists.” So FBI special agent Matt DeSarno “is operating out of the willful ignorance the FBI chose as policy years ago.”
According to his brother Gulbar, British national Malik Faisal Akram has a criminal record, yet he obtained a visa, flew to New York before January 1, and was admitted to the United States. It also remains unclear how he obtained the gun he used to take the hostages. The FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) have yet to clarify those issues.
According to an FBI statement obtained by Fox News on Sunday, “This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.” Note the passive-voice construction of the “matter” which is only “terrorism-related.” Note also that Malik Faisal Akram, who targeted the Jewish community, is not mentioned.
Recall that the Joint Terrorism Task Force failed to stop the terrorist before he took the hostages, just as the FBI failed to stop Nidal Hasan before he murdered 13 Americans in 2009. In 2020, have no doubt that the lessons of Fort Hood have not been learned.