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The only way to properly describe the efficacy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the last few years is “wholly inexcusable”.

As our nation faces threats from some of the most radical political operatives that we’ve ever seen, we are simultaneously experiencing a horrific lack of judgement from the U.S. intelligence services that are tasked with keeping us safe.

Let’s start with Omar Mateen, whose ISIS-inspired rampage left dozens dead in an Orlando, Florida nightclub:

The veteran FBI agent and a local sheriff’s deputy took no chances when they got a credible tip about a potential terrorist.

In a joint operation, they ran his name through a maze of federal criminal and terrorism databases and scrutinized his telephone records for suspicious contacts.

Without a warrant, they couldn’t read his emails or listen to his calls. But they watched him from unmarked vehicles to track his daily routine and to see whom he met.

They deployed two confidential informants more than a dozen times to secretly record his conversations. They interviewed him twice and convinced him to provide a written statement — in which he admitted he previously had lied to agents.

In the end, after a counter-terrorism investigation that stretched from May 2013 to March 2014, the agent and his supervisor concluded that Omar Mateen was not a threat and closed the case.

Just over two years later, on June 12, the 29-year-old security guard strode into a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and massacred 49 people and wounded dozens more in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. He pledged allegiance to Islamic State before he was killed by police.

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Or how about Nikolas Cruz, whose “demonic voices” that only he could hear instructed him to murder 17 people at his former high school?

“I know he’s going to explode,” a woman who knew Mr. Cruz said on the F.B.I.’s tip line on Jan. 5. Her big worry was that he might resort to slipping “into a school and just shooting the place up.” Forty days later, Mr. Cruz is accused of doing just that, barging into his former high school in Parkland, Fla., and shooting 17 people to death.

Three months before the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a family friend dialed 911 to tell the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office about Mr. Cruz’s personal arsenal. “I need someone here because I’m afraid he comes back and he has a lot of weapons,” the friend said.

Now, it seems as though our latest deranged mass killer may have a similar story to tell about the FBI and their utter incompetence.

The man suspected of killing four people at a Waffle House in Nashville on Sunday was previously arrested by the US Secret Service for trespassing and being in a restricted area near the White House, authorities said. The AR-15 he used in the shooting is believed to be the same one his father returned to him after the FBI seized his weapons.

In July 2017, Travis Reinking told a uniform Secret Service officer that he must get into the White House to speak with the President, according to an arrest report. Reinking told the officer that he had to speak with the President and that he was a “sovereign citizen” who had a right to inspect the grounds.

After the officer told Reinking to move twice, the report states that Reinking took his tie off, balled it into his fist, began approaching the officer and walked past the security barriers.

And worse…

Shortly after his release, Reinking was interviewed by the FBI in Illinois, where he lived at the time.

This is a story that we’ve heard far too many times, and the FBI has quite a bit of explaining to do.

 

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