Lawmakers will examine possible shortcomings in law enforcement or intelligence in the case of a Tennessee shooting that killed five servicemen, a top Republican said on Sunday, adding that the case may be linked to Islamic State.
Representative Mike McCaul, who heads the U.S. House of Representatives homeland security committee, told ABC’s “This Week” program the case highlighted growing concern about Internet-based directives from Islamic State leaders in Syria.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the gunman appeared to be a “classic lone wolf,” but said it was difficult to know for sure given new encryption applications available to terrorists.
Feinstein said legal counsels at big Internet companies were unwilling to bar those apps and remove other explicit postings about bomb-making techniques unless mandated by law to do so.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating Thursday’s attack as an act of terrorism, but said it was premature to speculate on the motive of the gunman, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen.
McCaul said the Chattanooga case was troubling for several reasons, including the fact that Abdulazeez’s father had been on a U.S. watchlist, but that case was later closed.
FBI officials were now examining the suspect’s computer, his cell phone and his travel to Jordan, McCaul said. “We’ll be looking at all those details. This is one (where) we’ll be conducting oversight and examining what happened.”
McCaul said the U.S. government had counted 200,000 Tweets a day coming from Islamic State and had active investigations under way in all 50 states. But he said Internet calls aimed at activating people in the United States were “very hard to stop.”
“This is a very difficult counterterrorism challenge in the United States,” McCaul said, urging increased efforts to hit the Islamic State officials who were issuing the cyber commands.
He said the FBI had arrested individuals in 60 separate cases linked to Islamic State over the past year, including an alleged plot scheduled for the U.S. national holiday on July 4.
Representative Ed Royce, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said lawmakers were also looking at changing federal law to allow Marines and other troops to fire at attackers at U.S. facilities, much as they now can overseas.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday approved immediate steps to beef up protection of military sites.
The Marine Corps closed all recruiting stations within 40 miles of the incident in Chattanooga, and told recruiters not to wear military uniforms, said Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright.
‘Last chapter in The Godfather’: Watergate prosecutor tears into Trump’s ‘continuing coverup’ of his associates’ Russia misdeeds
On CNN Wednesday, former Watergate assistant special prosecutor Nick Akerman tore into outgoing President Donald Trump for his pardon of ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — and warned that a larger coverup is looming.
"I think you have to look at the big picture here," said Akerman. "The big picture is that this is part of the continuing coverup of Donald Trump's efforts to conceal what happened between his campaign in 2016 with the Russian government. It started with Jim Comey, his firing because he refused to basically give an oath of loyalty to Donald Trump. It continued when Robert Mueller was appointed, the continuing threats of firing Mueller and his staff. It continued with Roger Stone, who was — his sentence was commuted."
Conservative Charlie Sykes tells Trump if he wants a pardon — he’ll have to admit he’s guilty first
Editor and creator of The Bulwark, Charlie Sykes, told MSNBC's Joy Reid that the most "Trumpy" of things President Donald Trump could do is pardon himself ahead of leaving office in January.
After the president pardoned ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, it sparked new anticipation on how Trump will protect himself from prosecution after leaving office. Trump was alleged to have committed at least ten acts of obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller. In that case, the Justice Department followed the internal rule that sitting presidents could not be indicted. Then, it stands to reason that the Justice Department would also follow a 1974 memo from the same Office of Legal Counsel that said a president could not pardon himself.
‘It’s pathetic’: John Avlon slams Trump’s ‘delusional’ fantasy that he’s winning by ‘a lot’
On CNN Wednesday, fact-checked John Avlon tore into President Donald Trump for his "delusional" claim that he's the real winner of the election.
"Let's not normalize that lie, because it is delusional," said Avlon. "It's the political equivalent of someone standing outside and saying that the sky is green, that the moon is made out of cheese and they're Napoleon. It's pathetic. It shows a fundamental disrespect for fact and reality, and frankly, his supporters as well. It's a symptom of an unwell person."
"We should not normalize it because it's just Trump lying trying to overturn the election as he wants to do. No, he's delusional," added Avlon. "People who follow him are being sucked into a vortex by someone who is struggling with his own soul."