Monday, June 22, 2015

Charleston Killer Exhibited Obvious Warning Signs

In the wake of the tragic and senseless killing of nine people in Charleston, South Carolina last week, evidence continues to emerge that people who knew alleged mass murderer Dylann Roof ignored obvious warning signs.

The roommate of South Carolina murderer Dylann Roof said last week Roof had been “planning something like that for six months” and that Roof said he “wanted to start a civil war.”

Roof’s Facebook picture pretty much screams “psychopath,” with him staring menacingly at the camera wearing a jacket adorned with the apartheid-era flag of South Africa. He also changed his middle name to “Storm,” a clear reference to white supremacists and skinheads.

Roof’s highly troubling behavior had even drawn attention from authorities, according to the Wall Street Journal:
On Feb. 28, he was arrested for drug possession at a Columbia mall, where the report said he was wearing all black and rattling employees at two stores with unusual questions about staffing and operating hours… 
[An employee at a shop at the mall] said he wasn’t interested in merchandise but asked sales associates about the mall hours and how many people were in the mall when it closed. “It was a bunch of strange things you would not expect,” she said. “It did make us uncomfortable.” 
A few days later, a security guard dropped off a flier with the mall’s tenants displaying Mr. Roof’s picture, she said. They were to be on alert and call security if they saw him in the mall again.
Please tell me -- how does someone like that slip through the cracks?

If nothing else, this senseless tragedy should remind all Americans how important it is to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to the proper authorities.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Boston Shooting: Terror Attack Or “Police Violence”?

Boston police and the FBI stopped a potential terrorist attack in Boston last week, shooting Muslim radical Usama Rahim three times after he lunged at them with a knife. It was the second time in less than a month law enforcement officers thwarted a homegrown terrorist attack.

Despite documented evidence of the man’s terrorist intentions and surveillance video of the shooting, some media members insist the incident qualifies as an example of “police violence.”

More than a week after the incident took place, there is still disagreement over whether police acted correctly. Did they stop a terrorist attack, or commit a heinous act of police brutality?

The facts are pretty clear – the guy was a known jihadi who refused repeated orders to disarm. But the confusion around this case illustrates a challenge police face on a daily basis. Every time an officer goes into a dangerous situation, he has to decide in a split second whether someone is a serious threat or an innocent civilian.

The rise of homegrown terror means the stakes for police are much higher. Is the person behaving erratically somebody who is mentally ill, or another Usama Rahim? Is the person running toward them just an angry civilian, or another Ismaaiyl Brinsley? Is the person carrying a rifle on the street a fringe open carry protester, or the member of an Islamist group?

It has taken the media a week to figure out what happened in Boston. And yet police make the same kind of decision every day in the blink of an eye.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Travel Ban For “Taliban Five” Temporarily Extended

The government of Qatar agreed to temporarily extend a travel ban for the five Taliban leaders President Obama swapped for deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last year.

The “Taliban Five” have been prohibited from leaving Qatar ever since Obama released them from Guantanamo last year, but the travel restrictions were set to expire Monday until a last minute deal extended the deadline for six months.

A state department official told Fox News the ban would stay in place until a longer-term deal is reached. The official said Qatar “has agreed to maintain the current restrictive conditions on these individuals as we continue these discussions.”

There is no question what the terrorists intend to do when they are eventually turned loose – rejoin the jihad. At least three of the five have already attempted to “re-engage” with their old terror networks, and at least one met with an Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group in Qatar earlier this year.

Obama’s decision to release the Taliban leaders was fiercely criticized after it was reported that Sgt. Berghdahl – who National Security Adviser Susan Rice said “served with honor and distinction” -- had abandoned his unit on purpose.

Bergdahl was charged with desertion in March.

The chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry and Sen. John McCain, said last month they would expand their investigations of the administration’s handling of the swap.