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Thursday, February 15, 2018

The FBI dropped the ball.....

I have no particular dislike or disrespect for federal law enforcement in general, or the FBI in particular. But where I used to look upon them as practical demigods of law enforcement, I look at them as any other policing organization, be it with a wider area of operation, and greater resources. They have three types of agents, a few great, a few terrible, and the rest somewhere in between. Like every other law enforcement agency.

I have posted before on where the FBI failed to warn local authorities about the threat of the Tsarnaev brothers (And it was the subject of an American Thinker article I authored.) Now I've heard of the shooting in Florida and I've seen another example of not spreading the word as needed.

In an email on Sept. 24, Ben Bennight alerted the FBI to a "school shooting threat" made by a YouTube user named nikolas cruz.

The FBI Was Warned About A School Shooting Threat From A YouTube User Named Nikolas Cruz In September

In September, a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz left a comment on a video stating, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." The video's creator alerted both the FBI and YouTube.

Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. "I'm going to be a professional school shooter," said a user named Nikolas Cruz.

The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment and calling the bureau's Mississippi field office. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.

Agents with the bureau's Mississippi field office got back to him "immediately," Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.

"They came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person," Bennight told BuzzFeed News. "I didn't. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them."

FBI agents contacted Bennight again Wednesday, after a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, killing at least 17 people...

...Though his name matches the YouTube user flagged in September, FBI officials would not say whether they have confirmed that the account belonged to Cruz.

But around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday — about 30 minutes after Cruz was taken into custody by police in Broward County — Special Agent Ryan Furr with the FBI's Miami field office called Bennight and left him a voicemail.

"I think we spoke with you in the past about a complaint that you made about someone making a comment on your YouTube channel," the agent said in the message, which Bennight provided to BuzzFeed News. "I just wanted to follow up with you on that and ask you a question with something that's come up, if you wouldn't mind giving me a ring."

A few hours later, Bennight said, FBI agents in Mississippi visited him again in person, pressing for more information about the YouTube user Nikolas Cruz.

"They asked me if I knew who he was. I didn't. I don't," Bennight said. "Then they left..."

We can only speculate if the local cops were notified and interviewed Cruz, would he had been warned off. Or he may have conducted it as planned. But one thing cannot be speculated, and cannot continue. When the FBI has information like this, it must immediately share it with the applicable local law enforcement agencies. Failure to achieve the mission of preventing crime is something that will happen. Failure to attempt it is inexcusable.

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