Experts on Islam and terrorism are decrying the Department of Homeland Security’s recently revealed anti-terrorism training guidelines, which pressure cops to ignore Islamic beliefs when investigating terror crimes.
The Boston bombings demonstrated the impact of such training, Andrew McCarthy, a former New York prosecutor, told The Daily Caller.
“The Boston Marathon was bombed by a jihadist who had been investigated by the FBI … [and was confirmed in 2011 to be] an Islamist, which would have been hard not to do since he does not appear to have made any secret of it,” said McCarthy, who persuaded a New York jury in 1995 to convict “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman for his use of Islamic teaching to spur jihad attacks, including the 1993 attack against the Twin Towers.
But before the bombing, “the FBI closed its file [on Tamerlan Tsarnaev] because it found this did not constitute ‘derogatory information,’” McCarthy said.
McCarthy and other security experts, and even members of the American Islamic community, indicate that a culture of excessive concern for the sensibilities of Muslims supremacists is preventing law enforcement agencies from pursuing jihadists.
The 2011 guidelines unveiled Thursday by The Daily Caller are part of this pattern of deferring to Islamist chauvinism. (Related: Homeland Security guidelines advise deference to pro-Shariah Muslim supremacists)
Under the federal guidelines, “agents are admonished to discount the possibility that an Islamist’s constitutionally protected abhorrence of the United States might possibly lead to violence,” McCarthy told TheDC.
Even if FBI officials had learned about Tsarnaev’s 2012 trip to a part of southern Russia that is embroiled in a jihadi war, they would not have restarted their 2011 investigation, a government official told the Washington Post in April.
“The FBI investigation into the individual in question had been closed six months prior to his departure from the United States and more than a year before his return. …Since there was no derogatory information, there was no reason to suggest that additional action was warranted,” the official said in April.
On his six-month trip, starting in January 2012, Tsarnaev visited several militant Islamic leaders and mosques in Dagestan, where jihadis are fighting the Russian government, according to several U.S. and Russian media sources.
“The fiasco regarding Boston is a prime example” of how bad training degrades security, said Robert Spencer, an authority on Islamic doctrine who is heavily criticized by Islamic groups in the United States. He noted that even though FBI agents had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the FBI was unable to identify Tsarnaev in crowd photographs taken before and after the bomb strike.
After the attack, FBI officials also did not ask the main mosque in Boston for help in identifying the suspects, said Nichole Mossalam, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Boston.
“We were the ones who reached out to them … on Friday” once the picture were released, Mossalam told TheDC.