Here are thumbnail profiles of 7 entirely preventable, mass casualty tragedies, and the 8 perps that inexplicably flew under the radar of our overly complex, multi-layered government bureaucracies.
Dzhokhar & Tamerlan Tsarnaev– In 2011, Russian authorities handed the FBI a file on Tamerlan Tsarnaev, detailing his links to radical Islam. During congressional testimony, then-director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, admitted that his agency had received two tips in 2012 regarding Tsarnaev’s links to extremists connected to a Boston mosque. One year later the brothers bombed the Boston Marathon. Three people died and hundreds were injured, including 16 who lost limbs.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi– Mohammed Rahami, the father of the Chelsea bomber, Ahmad Rahimi, claimed he’d warned the FBI long before 2016 attacks, that his son could be a terrorist., but agents cleared him. Thirty-one people were wounded.
Dylann Roof– The FBI could have had the information needed to stop Dylann Roof from buying a gun, and the time to find it. But the agency claimed government rules prohibit their use of the National Data Exchange, which is accessible to thousands of local police officers trying to solve crimes, but not to the federal unit trying to prevent them. “Shortly after the shooting, then-FBI Director James Comey acknowledged shortcomings in the process, striking an apologetic tone.” Roof killed nine churchgoers in Charleston.
Devin P. Kelly– A day after Kelly shot and killed parishioners in a small Texas church, the Air Force admitted it had failed to enter the man’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database. He’d assaulted his wife and cracked their toddler stepson’s skull. That offense, properly recorded, would have blocked Kelly from buying the rifle he used to kill 26 people.
Army Maj. Nidal Hassan– Hassan was known to the FBI well before opening fire in Texas. An FBI counterterrorism official, Mark Giuliano, testified the FBI should have interviewed the Fort Hood shooter when it learned Hasan was communicating, via 18 e-mails, with radical, Islamic terrorist/cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Members of Congress questioned if both military officials and the FBI acted aggressively enough. Hassan murdered 13 people and injured 30 others.
Omar Mateen– A couple of years before shooting up the Pulse Nightclub, Mateen told FBI investigators he’d been teased for being Muslim. He said that abuse caused him to claim ties to mass killers and terrorist groups. St. Lucie’s Sheriff’s Department said after a thorough investigation, the FBI concluded Mateen’s boasts were empty. “We do not believe he is a terrorist,” an investigator said. “I don’t believe he will go postal or anything like that.” Mateen killed 49 people.
Nickolas Cruz– This 19-year-old had a frightening public record of disturbing anti-social behaviors. “Broward County Sheriff’s deputies had been called to his family home 39 times since 2010, amid reports of a “mentally ill” person and “domestic violence….”. His school recommended conducting a “threat assessment”. Ultimately Cruz was expelled. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted to his demented social media posts, including one bragging about becoming a “professional school shooter”. Just a few weeks before the massacre they received a detailed phone call warning of how extremely dangerous Cruz had become. The crucial info was never passed along to their Miami office. Fourteen students and three teachers were executed.
Before everyone rushes to add new laws, resulting in more dense, unresponsive tiers of government, maybe we should consider how badly our unwieldy bureaucracies bungled the seven “man-caused disasters” cited above. Hundreds wounded or maimed. One hundred seventeen murdered.