A California college student who stabbed four people before being killed by police last year was inspired by the Islamic State group – also known as ISIS – the FBI said late Thursday. Faisal Mohammad was probably “self-radicalized” and was not in direct contact with the militant group, authorities reportedly said.
The FBI released a statement saying a review of the attacker’s electronic devices found that he was motivated by terrorist propaganda he found online before launching the Nov. 4 attack at the University of California, Merced. The agency reportedly said Mohammad visited ISIS and other extremist websites just weeks before the attack.
“Every indication is that Mohammad acted on his own,” Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Sacramento field office, said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “It may never be possible to definitively determine why he chose to attack people on the U.C. Merced Campus.”
Daniel Mayfield, an attorney representing Mohammad’s family, told The Los Angeles Times that the FBI’s discovery of ISIS propaganda “was new information.” He also said that the nature of the pro-ISIS propaganda on Mohammad’s computer was unclear from the FBI’s brief statement.
“It could be anything from a 17-year-old trolling the Internet to a class assignment to something nefarious,” Mayfield told the Times. “What can you say… until we get the computers back?”
The news of the ISIS links comes nearly four months after the San Bernardino attack that was carried out by a couple, who, like Mohammad, did not raise any red flags that put them on a watch list, and are also believed to be self-radicalized but inspired by ISIS. On Dec. 2, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a staff training event, killing 14 people.
We need machete control.
Via Columbus Dispatch:
Columbus police have shot and killed a man after they say he went into a Mediterranean restaurant on the Northeast Side this evening and attacked several patrons with a machete.
According to a dispatcher, police were called just after 6 p.m. to the Nazareth Restaurant, 5239 N. Hamilton Road. The dispatcher said that six people were transported to area hospitals from the restaurant, though their names and the extent of their injuries aren’t known at this time.
The suspect then reportedly fled and was stopped by police about 5 miles away, off Stelzer Road and just south of Montclair Drive.
He was shot by police, the dispatcher said, and died at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center at 6:24 p.m.
Further information and the name of the suspect aren’t available at this time.
HT: Breaking 911
UPDATE: Religion of Peace
CBS News has identified the suspect as Mohamed Barry, however neither 10TV nor Columbus Police have confirmed the suspect’s name. CBS News also reports Barry has a Somali background and may have traveled to Dubai in 2012.
Law enforcement tells them the incident appears to be the type of “lone wolf terrorist attacks they’re trying to stop.”
The FBI is assisting in the investigation.
The FBI refused to cooperate Monday with a court-ordered inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, telling the State Department that they won’t even confirm they are investigating the matter themselves, much less willing to tell the rest of the government what’s going on.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the State Department to talk with the FBI and see what sort of information could be recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s email server, which her lawyer has said she turned over to the Justice Department over the summer.
The FBI’s refusal, however, leaves things muddled.
“At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time,” FBI General Counsel James A. Baker wrote in a letter dated Monday – a week after the deadline the Justice Department had set for the FBI to reply.
Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that is pursuing at least 16 open records cases seeking emails from Mrs. Clinton and her top aides, said at this point it’s not even clear what Mrs. Clinton provided, since all that’s been made public at this point are the former secretary of state’s public comments and some assertions, made through her lawyer, to the State Department.
Judicial Watch is prodding the courts to try to delve more deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the group said a number of questions persevere about both Mrs. Clinton and top aides such as Huma Abedin, who did public business on an account tied to the server Mrs. Clinton maintained.
“We still do not know whether the FBI – or any other government agency for that matter – has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.
“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI – an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties – is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist,” the group said in its own court filing Monday afternoon.
Judicial Watch did release more than 50 pages Monday of emails it obtained from Ms. Abedin’s account on Mrs. Clinton’s server, and said it was clear she was talking about “sensitive” topics that shouldn’t have been discussed on an insecure account.
Many of those were details of Mrs. Clinton’s movements overseas, such as hotels she was staying at.
“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
He questioned what reason Ms. Abedin – who did maintain an account, firstname.lastname@example.org, on State.gov servers – would have for using the other account for important business. Mrs. Clinton said she kept only one account, the one on the clintonemail.com server, because it was more convenient, but that reasoning does not appear to apply to Ms. Abedin.
The State Department is making all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails public under order of Judge Rudolph Contreras. But the department has said it won’t make all of the emails public from Ms. Abedin or other top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills or Philippe Reines. Instead the department only plans to release those messages specifically requested in open records demands.
Mrs. Clinton turned over about 30,000 email messages in December, while her aides turned over more than 100,000 pages between them, with the final set only being returned, by Ms. Abedin, earlier this month, the department said in court filings.
Without those documents in hand, the State Department has been unable to do full and complete searches in response to subpoenas, congressional inquiries or Freedom of Information Act requests.
The State Department has asked for dozens of cases to be put on hold while it tries to get a single judge to coordinate all of its searches in more than two dozen cases. But the people requesting the records have objected, and say the State Department has nobody to blame but itself.
“The State Department acts as if Ms. Abedin’s and Ms. Mills’ documents fell from the sky on the eve of the State Department’s production deadline, but that is not remotely the case,” Citizens United, one of the plaintiffs who has sued under the FOIA, said in a filing late last week.
Citizens United says the State Department missed its own deadline for producing Ms. Mills’ and Ms. Abedin’s documents.
The Obama administration countered that it went above and beyond its duties under the law by asking Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills to return their records and then to search them in response to open records requests. The State Department says it’s moving as quickly as possible, but says the sheer number of documents – and the number of requests for them – calls for a stay in most cases.
But of the 26 requests where the State Department has sought to halt proceedings, six have already been denied. Only one has been granted, one was granted in part and denied in part by the same judge, and another is being held in abeyance.
The State Department told one of the federal judges Monday that it’s facing nearly 100 different open records lawsuits – not all of them related to Mrs. Clinton’s email server – that have stretched officials to their limit.
Monday’s FBI letter underscores the tangled situation Mrs. Clinton’s emails have produced. The letter was addressed to Mary McLeod, a lawyer at the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI – and which means, in effect, that the FBI is refusing to talk to its own parent department about the matter.
Mr. Baker pointedly noted in his letter that he was aware the response would be submitted to the court, which would presumably make it public.
Earlier this month the Justice Department, in another pleading, insisted Mrs. Clinton didn’t do anything wrong in being the one who decided which of her messages were official business records that must be returned to the government and which were purely personal and able to be expunged.
Judicial Watch said that raises thorny questions for a department that is supposedly investigating Mrs. Clinton.
Last week Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called for Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to name a special counsel to oversee the investigation, citing too many potential conflicts of interest.
An FBI “A-team” is leading the “extremely serious” investigation into Hillary Clinton’s server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,” an intelligence source told Fox News.
The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793.
A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign’s standard defense and that of Clinton is that she “never sent nor received any email that was marked classified” at the time.
It is not clear how the FBI team’s findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for – as the Clinton campaign itself downplays the controversy.
The FBI offered no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
A leading national security attorney, who recently defended former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in a leak investigation, told Fox News that violating the Espionage Act provision in question is a felony and pointed to a particular sub-section.
“Under [sub-section] F, the documents relate to the national defense, meaning very closely held information,” attorney Edward MacMahon Jr. explained. “Somebody in the government, with a clearance and need to know, then delivered the information to someone not entitled to receive it, or otherwise moved it from where it was supposed to be lawfully held.”
Additional federal regulations, reviewed by Fox News, also bring fresh scrutiny to Clinton’s defense.
The Code of Federal Regulations, or “CFR,” states: “Any person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, possibly compromised or disclosed to an unauthorized person(s) shall immediately report the circumstances to an official designated for this purpose.”
A government legal source confirmed the regulations apply to all government employees holding a clearance, and the rules do not make the “send” or “receive” distinction.
Rather, all clearances holders have an affirmative obligation to report the possible compromise of classified information or use of unsecured data systems.
Current and former intelligence officers say the application of these federal regulations is very straightforward.
“Regardless of whether Mrs. Clinton sent or received this information, the obligations under the law are that she had to report any questions concerning this material being classified,” said Chris Farrell, a former Army counterintelligence officer who is now an investigator with Judicial Watch. “There is no wiggle room. There is no ability to go around it and say I passively received something – that’s not an excuse.”
The regulations also state there is an obligation to meet “safeguarding requirements prescribed by the agency.” Based on the regulations, the decision to use a personal email network and server for government business – and provide copies to Clinton attorney David Kendall – appear to be violations. According to a letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Kendall and his associate did not have sufficient security clearances to hold TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) contained in two emails. Earlier this month, the FBI took physical custody of the server and thumb drives.
The regulations also require a damage assessment once a possible compromise has been identified “to conduct an inquiry/investigation of a loss, possible compromise or unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”
Farrell said, “There is no evidence there has been any assessment of Mrs. Clinton and our outlaw server.”
Citing the ongoing investigation, a State Department spokesman had no comment, but did confirm that Clinton’s immediate staff received regular training on classification issues.
Clinton told reporters Friday that she remains confident no violations were committed.
“I have said repeatedly that I did not send nor receive classified material and I’m very confident that when this entire process plays out that will be understood by everyone,” she said. “It will prove what I have been saying and it’s not possible for people to look back now some years in the past and draw different conclusions than the ones that were at work at the time. You can make different decisions because things have changed, circumstances have changed, but it doesn’t change the fact that I did not send or receive material marked classified.”
The Clinton campaign did not provide an on-the-record comment on the matter when given questions by Fox News.