Noor Salman, wife and widow of the Orlando Pulse Shooter, has been acquitted of all charges for her alleged role in the attack.

My take on this is that it doesn’t matter if she was really guilty or not.  It’s the Cliven Bundy case all over again.  Once again, the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense, as they so often do.  Once again, a federal jury refused to return a guilty verdict.  What did the prosecution not tell the jury until the last minute?  Oh, nothing major.

For six days, Salman listened as prosecutors picked apart her life, depicting her as manipulative, materialistic and cruel. After prosecutors rested their case, they dropped a bombshell: Mateen’s father was an FBI informant up until the massacre, they said, and was under criminal investigation himself.

Yeah.  The FBI–once again–failed to prevent an attack for reasons of incompetence, if not downright negligence, and even lied about the evidence to conceal its bungling.  The more unapologetic conspiracy fans would even say that the FBI is allowing or even aiding these mass shooting attacks to further a gun control agenda.  When you look at Parkland, the FBI’s concealment of the truth over Las Vegas and Paddock, and San Bernardino it starts to look ugly and scary.

It also looks like a pattern.  I’m not going to go down the conspiracy rabbit-hole (even though it’s almost Easter).  Not today, although I’m admittedly not above doing so and reserve the right to do it later.

Instead, I’m going to declare that we’ve reached the point that it’s time to have a serious national discussion about disbanding the FBI.  If you’re not with me on that or think it’s too extreme, I have to ask you: how much more do you need to see?  The Deputy Director of the FBI was just fired for lying and probably obstruction of justice.  It will come out that Hoover’s big fish is rotten from head to tail.  It’s clear the FBI has an institutional problem in terms of both its competence and its credibility.

We’ve seen it at the highest levels over Carter Page and FISA abuse and all the way down to cases of organized crime, where the FBI allowed innocent people to go to jail to protect their crooked informants.  Just like they protected the son of one of their informants who went on to murder people.  It’s not good police work and it’s time to stop pretending that the FBI is a sterling and capable organization that’s doing any good anymore.  It isn’t.

The FBI has lost another high-profile case because the jury chose to believe the wife of a jihadist (who the FBI had denied was a jihadist for months before charging Noor, by the way) over the FBI.  Can you believe that?  I can’t fault the jury at all.  I wouldn’t believe the FBI either if I were sitting on a jury.  Not about anything.  I’ve seen too much of this.

Maybe Noor doesn’t deserve to be free and maybe she does have blood on her hands.  But all blame for this state of affairs rests with the FBI.

The FBI is sick and needs to be put to sleep.

11 comments

  1. Before I bury the FBI, a few questions;

    1) What crimes was the dad being investigated for as committing, were they terror related?
    2)Is there any tangible proof that dad knew of son’s terror bent, was aware of the jihadi attractions or was aware that something was brewing on the horizon?
    3) Is there any records that can verify that dad warned the FBI ahead of time, that he knew his son was a ticking time bomb, or even mentioned to the FBI that they should pay attention to son?
    4)Other than failing to reveal dad’s status as an informant, is there any evidence that the FBI botched the investigation? Yes, they should have mentioned this, but it has nothing to do with the actual crime or the investigation, is there something else here that I am missing?
    5) Was this a case of prosecutorial overreach in that they did not have the evidence to prove the charge? If so than that is not on the FBI. Could the prosecution have made a case for a lesser charge, say a weapons , fraud, or conspiracy charge?
    6) And lastly, do you know for a fact that the FBI is at fault here? Is it possible that this info was given to the prosecution and they decided to withhold it?

  2. 1) What crimes was the dad being investigated for as committing, were they terror related?

    Here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/noor-salman-attorneys-case_us_5ab8e30ce4b008c9e5f95322

    When Seddique Mateen’s house was searched on the day of the massacre, law enforcement officials found receipts showing he recently transferred money to Turkey and Afghanistan. As a result, a criminal investigation was opened.

    The government also disclosed that in 2012 they got an anonymous tip that Seddique Mateen was seeking to raise up to $100,000 via a donation drive to contribute toward an attack against the government of Pakistan.

    2)Is there any tangible proof that dad knew of son’s terror bent, was aware of the jihadi attractions or was aware that something was brewing on the horizon?

    No, but it needs to be investigated. Remember that he showed up at a Clinton rally?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJtHURVql-s

    3) Is there any records that can verify that dad warned the FBI ahead of time, that he knew his son was a ticking time bomb, or even mentioned to the FBI that they should pay attention to son?

    No. But there’s this, from the same link as above:

    On Monday, FBI Special Agent Juvenal Martin testified that he oversaw Seddique Mateen when he was an informant. In 2013, he was asked to interview Seddique Mateen’s son, Omar, after the latter allegedly made suspicious statements to co-workers about terrorist organizations.

    He visited Omar Mateen’s home three times to interview him, Martin said. On the first occasion, Seddique Mateen arrived unannounced in the middle of their conversation.

    On the third visit, Noor Salman served him homemade cake. “It was very good, by the way,” he said.

    The FBI closed the counterterrorism investigation into Omar Mateen in March 2014 after concluding that he was not a threat. Martin added that at the time, he considered developing Omar Mateen as an informant, like his father.

    5) Was this a case of prosecutorial overreach in that they did not have the evidence to prove the charge? If so than that is not on the FBI. Could the prosecution have made a case for a lesser charge, say a weapons , fraud, or conspiracy charge?

    I haven’t seen anything from the jurors about why they ruled the way they did, but the defense claimed that the FBI was scapegoating Salman for the FBI’s mistakes and the jury seems to have bought that.

    6) And lastly, do you know for a fact that the FBI is at fault here? Is it possible that this info was given to the prosecution and they decided to withhold it?

    Yes, but it would be more surprising to me if it wasn’t the FBI’s doing, given previous cases. They’re almost too numerous to list.

  3. Oh, and on #6, The Intercept relays that Salman’s confession was coerced and that’s directly the fault of the FBI. For the informant piece, the author blames the prosecutors.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that the FBI apparently took the word of a terror suspect’s father as a reason to drop an investigation simply because he was their informant.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/03/30/noor-salman-widow-of-pulse-killer-omar-mateen-is-found-not-guilty-of-all-charges/

  4. Still doesn’t change the fact that the FBI apparently took the word of a terror suspect’s father as a reason to drop an investigation simply because he was their informant.

    That is a bold claim that Greenwald made, I would like to see the evidence backing it up.

    Considering how many thousands of reports the FBI gets concerning possible terror threats, they took this one seriously and from what I can tell, handled it about as well as they could;

    The FBI took the concerns about Mateen seriously because the report came from another law enforcement agency, because he had access to firearms and because he worked in a public building.

    The bureau assigned an FBI agent with at least 10 years of service in the bureau in its Fort Pierce office, and a sheriff’s deputy on the local Joint Terrorism Task Force, to investigate.

    The agent was skeptical that Mateen posed a real risk. When Mateen said he was a member of Hezbollah, a Shiite group, and had family ties to Al Qaeda, a Sunni group, it was clear he didn’t know or care they were bitter rivals, the senior FBI official said.

    Even so, the agent realized that people becoming radicalized don’t always understand the fine points of jihadist politics, two FBI officials said.

    The lead agent opened a preliminary investigation. Under Justice Department guidelines, such an inquiry can run six months and be extended for six more.

    The designation permitted the investigators to use a variety of tools — searching databases, obtaining cellphone records and conducting surveillance, for example.

    More invasive techniques — such as seeking a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to read email and to eavesdrop on phone calls — are reserved for full investigations and then only if the FBI can convince the court there is probable cause of a crime.

    While the probe was underway, the FBI added Mateen’s name to the “selectee list” on the bureau’s Terrorist Screening Database, also known as the Terrorist Watchlist.

    It would ensure he got special screening at airports and that an FBI agent would be alerted if he tried to buy a gun or was stopped by police. About 1,700 Americans are on the selectee list.

    The first search — checking Mateen’s name against criminal and terrorism databases — came up dry. After obtaining his call records from his phone company, the team also ran his number and his contacts through terrorism databases. Again, they found nothing suspicious.

    During the next few months, they conducted surveillance of Mateen as he went to work and met friends, but they saw nothing unusual.

    They had two confidential informants meet repeatedly with Mateen over the 10 months to see whether he might say something incriminating while they were recording him. The FBI routinely uses informants to gather evidence in terrorism cases, and often relies on them to help set up sting operations.

    FBI officials refused to identify the informants or say where they met with Mateen, although a senior FBI official said they had “nothing to with the mosque,” the Islamic Center of Fort Pearce, that Mateen attended.

    Mateen admitted to the informants that he had claimed terrorist ties at work. But he said he had been joking, trying to scare co-workers who had bullied him for being a Muslim.

    In September 2013, FBI officials said, the lead agent and deputy sheriff interviewed Mateen. He initially denied having made any radical statements.

    The investigators returned a month later and accused Mateen of lying. This time, he admitted in a written statement that he had not been truthful, and had in fact claimed terrorist ties because co-workers had teased him for being Muslim.

    It was true: When FBI agents interviewed Mateen’s co-workers, they admitted they had teased him about his religion.

    “They were being jerks,” said a U.S. counter-terrorism official who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “He wasn’t making that up. He wasn’t paranoid.”

    Concerned it might have missed something, the FBI extended the investigation in the fall of 2013. When they closed it in March 2014, they removed Mateen’s name from the Terrorist Watchlist.

    The FBI typically only charges someone with lying to agents if there is an underlying crime. In this case, officials said, they had none.

    That summer, the FBI came knocking again. The focus this time was Moner Mohammad Abussalha, a former member of Mateen’s mosque who had become a suicide bomber in Syria. Agents scrambled to learn whether he had associates in Florida.

    A member of the same mosque told agents that Mateen had mentioned watching online sermons by Anwar Awlaki, the influential American-born Al Qaeda cleric who was killed by a CIA drone in 2011 in Yemen, two FBI officials said.

    The man said he didn’t think Mateen was dangerous, but suggested the FBI keep an eye on him.

    When the FBI interviewed Mateen — for his third time — in July, he said he recognized Abussalha from the mosque but was not an acquaintance. When pressed about the radical videos, the security guard denied having watched them.

    And with that, the FBI moved on to other potential threats.

  5. It looks to me like this case was beyond flimsy, predicated on confessions both the FBI and the prosecutors knew were false, and when the judge discovered the bogus confessions, exposing them in court in front of the jury, the whole case fell apart. I think justice was done in finding her not guilty.

  6. The jury foreman has spoken up. He doesn’t reference the exculpatory evidence. I’m sort of confused by what he’s saying. Not sure what he meant.

    https://kek.gg/u/Fdsp

    Having said that, I want to make several things very clear. A verdict of not guilty did NOT mean that we thought Noor Salman was unaware of what Omar Mateen was planning to do. On the contrary we were convinced she did know. She may not have known what day, or what location, but she knew. However, we were not tasked with deciding if she was aware of a potential attack. The charges were aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. I felt the both the prosecution and the defense did an excellent job presenting their case. I wish that the FBI had recorded their interviews with Ms. Salman as there were several significant inconsistencies with the written summaries of her statements. The bottom line is that, based on the letter of the law, and the detailed instructions provided by the court, we were presented with no option but to return a verdict of not guilty.”

    In this telling, the jury didn’t think the FBI was truthful and that actually outweighed his opinion that they thought she knew about the attack in advance.

    It really is asinine that the FBI doesn’t record interviews. Inexcusable even. The jury believed Salman over the FBI on the obstruction claim. That’s devastating.

    Say what you want about Greenwald, but he’s right about how rare this verdict is in a terrorism investigation.

  7. In this telling, the jury didn’t think the FBI was truthful and that actually outweighed his opinion that they thought she knew about the attack in advance.

    The judge ripping the lead FBI investigator for withholding exculpatory evidence that invalidates the entire case (the signed confessions) in front of the jury, yeah, that would definitely cast some doubt the FBI’s way.

    It really is asinine that the FBI doesn’t record interviews. Inexcusable even. The jury believed Salman over the FBI on the obstruction claim. That’s devastating.

    I could be wrong but this looks to me like a ,”Oops, my body cam was turned off” moment. I suspect that it is standard procedure to tape all interviews, especially involving mass murder by terrorist, but early on they knew they had nothing. They were dealing with a simpleton who did not know much, they coerced her, threatened her with the loss of her son, and got her to sign something that was not truthful, of course they would not want the tape recorder turned on.

    Say what you want about Greenwald, but he’s right about how rare this verdict is in a terrorism investigation.

    I just want to know why he believes the investigation was not thorough and got derailed by undue influences from daddy. The evidence does not prove that.

    And as for how rare this is, I think it points to the flimsiness of the case. Even Greenwald admits that wives and girlfriends of terrorists are rarely gone after, that the main reason this case proceeded was that she was Muslim. Their whole case rested on the signed confession, but when that was exposed as a fraud, an acquittal was to be expected.

    Both the FBI and the DOJ prosecutors committed fraud, both knew the confessions were fraudulently obtained, having evidence at hand (the geolocation records of the cell phones) that would invalidate the confessions. Yet, they sat on this knowledge knowing that it would blow their case. In a just world, they would be fired and risk possible prison terms.

  8. I could be wrong but this looks to me like a ,”Oops, my body cam was turned off” moment. I suspect that it is standard procedure to tape all interviews,

    No, it isn’t.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/insider/2016/04/04/why-do-federal-agents-still-take-notes-by-hand/

    Utterly moronic. I believe most law enforcement agencies do these days, but the FBI has its own way of doing things, I guess.

    I just want to know why he believes the investigation was not thorough and got derailed by undue influences from daddy. The evidence does not prove that.

    I don’t know one way or the other. I do, however, agree with Salman’s defense team that she was targeted to obfuscate their own malpractice in failing to prevent the attack.

  9. No, it isn’t.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/insider/2016/04/04/why-do-federal-agents-still-take-notes-by-hand/

    Utterly moronic. I believe most law enforcement agencies do these days, but the FBI has its own way of doing things, I guess.

    They do this for a very specific reason. Those notes become part of the evidence for the case. If they recorded the interview, the entire thing would be evidence, and be able to be shown to the jury at the request of the defense. With hand-written notes, they can craft the “evidence” to benefit prosecution.

    “But I told the FBI in my interview that I was…”

    “Sorry, that doesn’t appear to be in the notes from the agent.”

    “Agent Doe, did the defendant say that he was…”

    “Not to my recollection, if it wasn’t in my notes, I don’t believe he said it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

%d bloggers like this: