. - Did the FBI d rop the ball in its investigation of the Orlando shooter three years ago? A local terrorism expert interviewed by WOIO Chief Investigator Carl Monday says no.
But Tim Dimoff says there's more the Agency should be doing to prevent the "next Orlando." FBI Director James Comey today said it is reviewing it's handling of the case, but believes the FBI handled the case properly.
Over a year's time, beginning in 2013, the Agency interviewed Omar Mateen three times involving two separate incidents, involving a possible terrorist threat and his relationship to a known suicide bomber. But determined he was not an immediate threat. As the world now knows, Mateen showed up at an Orlando nightclub this past weekend, and massacred at least fifty people, and injured scores of others.
Dimoff, who specializes in terrorism consulting, says Mateen is one of thousands of potential terrorists on the FBI's radar, many of whom are so called "Lone Wolves," influenced by terrorist groups. Dimoff says the Feds don't have the resources to track these individuals on a consistent base. But Dimoff told Monday they need to do a better job of monitoring their communications on the internet, and a more efficient job of prioritizing these "lone wolves," beginning with the most potentially dangerous.
Director Comey admits the agency is challenged, comparing fighting terrorism to "finding a needle in a haystack." Then finding some hay "that may turn into a needle" someday.
During a news conference, Comey said "we will continue to look forward in this investigation, and backwards. We will leave no stone unturned, and we will work all day and all night to understand the path to that terrible night."
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