The FBI omitted a clear ISIS link in the criminal complaint against suspected NYC bomber Ahmad Rahami.
The criminal complaint only notes that Rahami makes references to terrorists Usama Bin-Laden, Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, and al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula leader Anwar Al Alwaki. All three terrorists are affiliated with al-Qaida. A released photo of the journal to ABCNews, however, shows a clear reference to “Brother Adnani.”
A law enforcement official confirmed the picture of the journal was authentic to The New York Times.
Adnani rose to chief spokesman of ISIS, frequently encouraging lone wolf attacks in the West, particularly on non-believers. In his last public speech, Adnani advised would-be terrorists in the West that attacks on civilians were “dearer and better for us” than battlefield victories for ISIS.
Rahami’s suspected domestic attack almost exactly mimics Adnani’s statement. The FBI criminal complaint against Rahami notes he wrote about “attacking [non-believers] in their backyard.”
The FBI has a history of omitting ISIS references in publicly released information on terrorist attacks. In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting by ISIS-inspired shooter Omar Mateen, the FBI omitted Mateen’s declaration of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi.
After the omission became public the FBI released an unredacted transcript, revealing Mateen’s clear inspiration by ISIS. Rahami’s reference to Adnani does not necessarily mean the attack was ISIS-inspired or directed, but it is an important detail for analysts. Adnani’s mention may give insight into how Rahami became radicalized.
Representatives of both the FBI Field Office in New York and the U.S. Southern District of New York Court declined comment on the omission.
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