WASHINGTON — Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) identified what he believes is one reason Omar Mateen was able to walk into a gay nightclub in Orlando and kill 49 people, despite having previously been interviewed by the FBI: Agents are not allowed to ask the questions that help determine if a person has been or is being radicalized.
"They don't know what to ask when trying to discern if one has been radicalized," Gohmert told TheBlaze Wednesday. Gohmert, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees issues related to homeland security and terrorism, among other things, was referring to how the FBI lexicon does not include terms that he says could help authorities determine whether an individual poses any risk to the American public.
"FBI agents and current Homeland Security agents are not being allowed to understand or be taught how you can recognize someone who's been radicalized by what they're reading, what they're doing, who they're studying under, what mosques they're attending," Gohmert said. "There are many factors that help discern if someone has been radicalized before they kill people, and this administration will not allow those things to be taught to our FBI, State Department, Defense Department and intelligence agencies."
Among the terms that appear nowhere in the FBI's lexicon are "jihad," "Muslim," "Islam," "caliphate," "Muslim Brotherhood," "al Qaeda" and "Shariah." Such terms were "purged" from official counterterrorism training manuals government-wide as the result of a series of policies the Obama administration enacted in 2011-2012, which TheBlaze reported on this extensively at the time.
"Generally speaking, I think it is absolutely insane," Gohmert told TheBlaze. "It is absolutely insane that you would not allow FBI agents to be trained about verses in the Quran, which help radicalize the Muslims."
Gohmert pointed to at least one other terrorist attack on American soil, which he says might have been preventable with more extensive FBI training: the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, when Gohmert says the administration dismissed the Russian government's initial warning about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The administration eventually did contact the older of the two Tsarnaev brothers and his mother, both of whom denied that the then 19-year-old had any terroristic motivations, Gohmert said. "And that was about the extent" of the investigation, he told TheBlaze.
As for what lawmakers on Capitol Hill are doing in the wake of the of Orlando attack? The Texas lawmaker said that the House is scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday that recommends that the Department of Homeland Security further train and equip local law enforcement on countering domestic terrorism.
However, as Gohmert later pointed out, the language of the bill doesn't necessarily require DHS to do so.
"This is our response after people are killed?" Gohmert said, adding that this particular piece of legislation "does absolutely nothing." "That's why I say it is a dangerous time to be living in America with a president who refuses to follow his oath to protect America."
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