Known Wolves: Before They Attacked, Jihadis Were Blips on Law Enforcement Radar

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The first information we were given about the Orlando killer was an offhanded comment from the FBI that he might have some Islamist “leanings.” He turned out to be a veritable Leaning Tower of Pisa of Islamist leanings, capped off with a formal vow of allegiance to the Islamic State as he launched his bloody jihad attack, and the FBI was well aware of his history, having interviewed him three times. Once again, we are told after the fact that a jihadi was “on the radar screen” – not a lone wolf, but a known wolf. This is apparently supposed to make us feel better, reassured that the FBI was not taken completely by surprise, and has other potential terrorists under surveillance. Instead, our jaws fall steadily closer to the tops of our shoes with each new revelation of Mateen’s dubious history, each new co-worker that describes him as “unhinged and unstable,” every new revelation about his Taliban-supporting father, every new law-enforcement source that admits he was a “known quantity.” How was this “known quantity” free to plan a horrific terrorist attack, while working for a security company that did government work? We have heard the Known Wolf story before.