Sheriff David Clarke: Law enforcement dropped the ball

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke argues the U.S. needs a clear and coherent domestic intelligence strategy to prevent terror attacks.

Sheriff David Clarke: Law Enforcement Dropped the Ball

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says law enforcement has not learned any lessons from 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing and Fort Hood, and that law enforcement dropped the ball again in the wake of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting.

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“We are making the same mistakes… as we did pre-9/11 with the 9/11 attacks. Remember the Phoenix memo where they were alerted to guys taking flight lessons and the administrators of the FBI told them to leave it alone, to go away? We dropped the ball. When I say we – law enforcement. Federal law enforcement after the Boston bombing, those guys were on the radar screen. You go to Fort Hood with Nadal Hassan, same thing; He was on the radar screen. I’m getting tired of hearing how these guys were on the radar screen after they pull an attack,” he told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

The Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, was on the terror watch list and investigated twice by the FBI, but was still able to purchase the guns used during the attack.

Sheriff Clarke said the main problem is that “we don’t have a clear and coherent domestic intelligence strategy” to prevent terror attacks before they happen.

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“You have to stay on the front end of this to be more successful. It’s always after these attacks, the FBI comes out – and I’m not being hypercritical of them – but the fact is they are the lead domestic intelligence agency in the United States. I think they are the wrong one but they come out with all this information after the fact. This guy was ruled inconclusive in their determination. This is insane,” he said.

Earlier on Varney & Co., Senator Linsdey Graham discussed how budget cuts resulted in the FBI employing 6,000 fewer agents, but Sheriff Clarke says if this is true, they should raise these concerns to Congress, adding that “it’s not really all about manpower.”

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“Where they fall short, is they are always looking for probable cause to make an arrest [and] to prosecute. That’s not intelligence work; Intelligence work focuses on identifying the threats, establishing their capabilities and determining ‘are they planning an attack?’ And let some decision maker know ahead of time, in enough time to make a preemptive decision on whether they should preempt that attack. That did not happen here,” he said.

 

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