Scrubbing Clean FBI Training and Procedures
It’s a little hard to be relieved that Rahami was “scrubbed clean” when he was investigated by the FBI in 2014. As a result of a complaint by his own father. Clearly, Rahami was not clean, and what is key here is the timeline of Rahami’s life in the last decade or so.
Rahami obtained his first US passport in 2003, apparently. That's about 8 years before he was granted US citizenship as a naturalized American citizen. In 2007, midway between being given his first passport at age 15, and becoming a naturalized US citizen at age 23, he reported that his first passport had been lost. Had he travelled to the Middle East between 2003 and 2007? He would have been in his later teenage years, and certainly susceptible to the extremist jihadist ideology he clearly had bought into by his late twenties.
Rahami made several key visits to Kandahar in Afghanistan, and Quetta in Pakistan between 2011 and 2014. He returned from his last visit, which had lasted nearly a year, in April 2014. That means that until he returned in April - or perhaps early May - of 2014, he had been abroad in Pakistan and Afghanistan during this last trip.
That means that when his father called the FBI in 2014 to complain of his son's behavior in New Jersey, Rahami was almost certainly already radicalized. He was apparently a changed young man by the time he returned in 2014, and his violent attacks on his own family were a clear warning sign,
Why in God's name, was he scrubbed clean by the FBI? Security experts and ex-FBI officials have recently been talking to the media and painting an emerging picture of the FBI's top-down constraints on their own agents and how they deal with radical Islamic extremism.
Michael Waller, a security expert but not a former FBI official, speaking to the Washington Free Beacon, accused former FBI Director Robert Mueller of leading an outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood in the aftermath of 9/11. All as a way of courting moderate muslims and perhaps gaining information on radical terrorists. The analogy he used was that is was as if the CIA had reached out to the KGB in order to combat communist insurgencies around the world.
Consider the Muslim Brotherhood, born in Egypt in the 20's, and now accused by many Middle Eastern governments of being a terrorist group. It has been suggested by some that radical jihadism was in fact forged by the Saudi Kingdom in the early 60's as a counterweight to Nasser's vision of Arab and Muslim society. And that Saudi's have been a key cause and target of the blowback - if you will - that al qaeda and the Islamic State represent. The Saudi's are among those nations that have declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
It seems that in order to understand the enemy, the FBI and other intelligence organizations in America have entangled themselves in an unseemly embrace with some of the wellsprings of jihadism. If it helps stop people like Rahami before they act, then the FBI have used ambiguous means to achieve noble ends. A laudable result. The opposite seems to have been the case, however, with Rahami and the growing list of FBI-interviewed suspects who later went on to kill innocent Americans and others as well.
This fear of offending Islamic societies while working closely with partners like the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood (whether currently or in the past is beside the point) has meant that any individual agent investigating suspicious patterns of behavior needs the suspect to practically commit violent acts before he, or she, can be detained. Which is exactly what happens. No violence, you get scrubbed clean. And set free.
Maybe what needs to be scrubbed clean is the FBI's training procedures and constraints placed on its own hard-working men and women. America's National Security would be well served by an honest and comprehensive review of these policies.Posted by AllardK at September 21, 2016 9:14 PM