Strange coincidence. I (Michele Hickford) live in the Ft. Lauderdale area. As I write this, I am waiting for my ride to the airport as I’m flying to our nation’s
swamp capital to witness history on Friday morning and bid fond farewell to Barack Hussein Obama’s reign.
I just went out to get the newspaper and screaming on the front page of the Sun-Sentinel was the headline: Airport shooter Esteban Santiago said he visited ‘jihadi chat rooms’ online.
Now you might recall we reported on a story almost immediately after the shooting occurred that an investigation of public records indicated Santiago was rolling around jihadi chat rooms as early as 2007.
But authorities and the media continue to scratch their heads about a motive. In fact the Sun-Sentinel story reports, Accused airport shooter Esteban Santiago told investigators after his arrest that he communicated with Islamic State terrorists or sympathizers in “jihadi chat rooms” before he killed five people in Fort Lauderdale, authorities said in court Tuesday.
Whether that’s true is not clear. Prosecutors and agents are still combing through electronic devices Santiago may have used, looking for evidence to show whether he was radicalized and whether he actually visited those terrorist chat rooms and websites, law enforcement sources said.
Right, so even though he says he did…the don’t necessarily believe him.
Santiago’s statements to investigators were revealed during a court hearing Tuesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
Also during the hearing it emerged:
> During his initial interview with police he admitted he planned the attack.
> Santiago practiced firing his weapon at a gun range in Alaska in the months before the attack.
> Agents testified that the gun he used in the attack was the same gun Anchorage police returned to him in December (after he had visited the FBI office saying he’d been having “terroristic thoughts”)
> Agents also testified that so far as they know, Santiago’s gun was legally purchased and licensed.
None of these facts really do much to make us feel comfortable about the FBI’s intelligence gathering — or the mainstream media reporting. But then again, none of that is a surprise.
And just for the record, there was definitely a heavy police presence at the terminal. I’m waiting to board my flight.
[Note: This article was partly written at gate E5 by Michele Hickford]