During a Tuesday night appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” Breitbart News National Security Editor Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War, joined human-rights attorney and former State Department official David Tafuri to discuss the Chelsea bombing.
Gorka said that from his travel records, we now know that bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami visited Quetta, “the hotbed of Salafi jihadism,” and home base of the Afghan Taliban’s leadership, the Quetta Shura.
“The fact that we have reports that he made anti-American statements here, and homophobic statements – I think an interview or two would have been very, very wise,” he suggested.
“There’s an amazing similarity between Rahami and the Orlando bomber, Mateen,” observed David Tafuri. “Both were disaffected Muslims, both were home-grown terrorists. Both came on the radar screen for the FBI. The FBI investigated both – but, apparently, the FBI concluded after investigating both that they did not think either of them were a threat to the U.S. That’s where the FBI made a mistake.”
“The FBI can’t get into the minds of these home-grown terrorists, but we would hope that the FBI will change its procedures, and look at threats like this more closely,” Tafuri added.
Gorka suggested there were several possible explanations for why “balls are being dropped in terms of national security.”
“One is simply a manpower issue. The director of the FBI himself has said there are 900 cases they’re investigating that are linked to ISIS alone, in every state of the union. That’s a huge labor-intensive exercise,” he noted.
“Secondly, we have seen that there are certain sensitivities, a certain political matrix being forced upon our operators, our investigators – which isn’t really often from the FBI,” Gorka continued. “If you dig deeper in these cases where something was spotted, and people were pushed back from the investigation – you saw this with Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter – the nexus of the political correctness that is pushed down is usually from the Department of Justice itself, and from the Civil Rights Division.”
“It could be a case of someone getting into the FBI’s protocols and saying, ‘no, we’re not going to focus on this right now,’” Gorka speculated.
Tafuri expected there would be some political fallout from these security lapses, including another mentioned by guest host Brett Baier, the Department of Homeland Security erroneously granting citizenship to hundreds of illegal aliens who were facing deportation.
“None of these home-grown terrorists are actually refugees, as far as we know, so they did not come here as part of the refugee resettlement process,” said Tafuri. “And, in fact, no refugee so far has committed terrorism in the United States. But specifically look at the Syrian refugees, who are a hot-button political topic right now. No Syrian refugee who has been resettled in the United States has committed terrorism.”
“That doesn’t mean that the U.S. government hasn’t made mistakes with respect to immigration,” he added, calling the DHS story mentioned by Baier a “very important one.”
“We’ve allowed over a thousand people to go from a list where they were supposed to be deported, to somehow a different list, and they re-applied under a different name, and were mistakenly admitted. That is a significant error that needs to be corrected,” Tafuri said. “Luckily, the U.S. government has identified it, and is hopefully correcting it very quickly.”
Gorka agreed with Baier that the DHS debacle “backs up some of the things Donald Trump has been saying on the trail.”
“Again, just go to the chief law enforcement officer who’s talked about this,” said Gorka. “Director Comey said, when you have people coming from a war zone like Syria that is not friendly to us – on the contrary, we’re bombing them – there is no way to vet individuals from Syria, because there’s no database to vet them against. The Syrians aren’t going to give us the data.”
“So what’s the alternative?” he asked. “My parents were refugees. They escaped a dictatorship during the Cold War. There was no way to get information about who they were. So what happened? They spent weeks in a refugee camp, undergoing counter-intelligence interrogations to prove their bona fides. Again, incredibly labor-intensive protocols. Perhaps we don’t have the capabilities.”
Tafuri agreed that “we have to have significant vetting process for refugees, and I’m glad Sebastian pointed out, he’s a refugee.” (In fact, Dr. Gorka is not a refugee, and did not claim to be one; he said his parents were refugees.)
“Refugees have contributed a lot to this country. Donald Trump talked about how we defeated fascism in World War II. Part of the way we defeated it is, we had refugees who contributed to the nuclear program that helped us get out of World War II. Refugees do contribute so much, and so far, refugees have not been a source of terrorism. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to vet them significantly. But the refugee resettlement program has a significant vetting process. It takes 18 to 24 months to come here as a refugee. There are multiple interviews. There are background checks. And so far, it has worked,” Tafuri argued.