Obama Tells F.B.I. Not to Monitor Mosques. Feds Missed the Boston Bombers.
A recent report in Investor’s Business Daily says that mosques are excluded from the surveillance dragnet operated by the government. If this report is true, then that begs the question: If surveillance is purposed to stop terrorism, then why would the government exclude mosques from examination?
The I.B.D. piece explains that “Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to F.B.I. agents. No more surveillance or undercover sting operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.”
Who is this review committee? Nobody knows the name of the chairman, nor of the members and key staff.
Apparently, says the report, these limitations were set up from pressure by Islamic groups. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the A.C.L.U. to sue the F.B.I. for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.
I.B.D. goes on to describe that, “The F.B.I. never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped. The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit T.V. cameras and cell phones.”
The I.B.D. report continues: Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the F.B.I. launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.
One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the F.B.I. about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.
If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs.
What other five-alarm jihadists are counter-terrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?