A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower accused the Obama administration of engaging in a “bureaucratic effort to destroy” intelligence records of hundreds of Muslims with ties to terrorism that are “needed to keep Americans safe.”
Philip Haney, the former DHS employee turned whistleblower, added that the administration’s order to wipe out records of Muslim terrorists from travel and national security databases has made it “vastly more difficult” to prevent future attacks.
He made those comments in an article he authored for The Hill, detailing his experience at the federal anti-terror department, which he noted has been hindered by political correctness employed by the Obama administration.
“We knew his administration had been engaged in a bureaucratic effort to destroy the raw material—the actual intelligence we had collected for years, and erase those dots,” he wrote. “The dots constitute the intelligence needed to keep Americans safe, and the Obama administration was ordering they be wiped away.”
“After leaving my 15 year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America’s counter-terror strategy, our leaders’ willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness—and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack,” he added.
The whistleblower indicated that the Obama administration hindered the intelligence community’s ability to prevent Nigerian Muslim Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from getting close to bombing Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route to Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day in 2009 with explosives he was carrying in his underwear, which malfunctioned, and brave passengers subdued him until his arrest.
Prior to the attack, in early November 2009, Haney revealed that his superiors at DHS ordered him to wipe out or modify the intelligence records of individuals linked to jihadist groups that had been entered in a federal database known as the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS).
“These types of records are the basis for any ability to ‘connect dots.’ Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection [CBP] officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns,” he explained. “Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.”
“A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack,” he added. “While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to ‘connect the dots’ in the future—especially before an attack occurs.”
He noted that President Obama’s comments condemning the intelligence community in the wake of the attempted Christmas Day bombing in 2009 made an “enormous damage” to morale at DHS.
The president accused the intelligence community of failing to “connect the dots,” adding, “This was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
The type of information that the Obama administration ordered destroyed could have prevented subsequent Islamist terrorist attacks carried out or attempted on the homeland, according to the whistleblower.
Such attacks include the ones carried by the perpetrator behind the foiled Time Square bombing attempt, Faisal Shahzad (May 2010); Detroit “honor killing” perpetrator Rahim A. Alfetlawi (2011); Amine El Khalifi, who plotted to blow up the U.S. Capitol (2012); Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who conducted the Boston Marathon bombing (2013); Oklahoma beheading suspect Alton Nolen (2014); or Muhammed Yusuf Abdulazeez, who opened fire on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, (2015),” he wrote.
Haney, in an interview with “Breitbart News Daily,” also accused the Obama administration of shutting down an investigation that may have prevented the December 2015 San Bernardino, California, massacre because they wanted to protect the “civil liberties” of jihadist supporters.
The former DHS employee added that the administration has prevented DHS from tracking Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), an Islamist movement whose members have been linked to various terrorist groups including al-Qaeda. TJ has strong presence in the United States, according to Haney and the FBI.
Haney was a founding member of the Passenger Analysis Unit (PAU) under CBP, which is charged with “vetting, investigating, finding addresses, making connections, and putting the dots together” on persons entering the United States who may be security threats. He spent his final days at CBP, a component of DHS, working as a subject matter expert (Islamist terrorism) for the agency’s National Targeting Center.