Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, FBI Agent Rob Lasky explained the agency’s failure to find and interview Parkland Florida spree killer Nikolas Cruz before his attack, after a Mississippi bail bondsman told the FBI that Cruz had left a chilling comment on the bondsman’s YouTube channel (“Im going to be a professional school shooter”) . . .
“No other information was included with that comment which would indicate a time, location or the true identity of the person who made the comment. The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment.”
I don’t know what a “database review” is, exactly, but the entire world was able to locate spree killer Nikolas Cruz on both Facebook and Instagram as soon as his name was announced.
If the FBI had seen Cruz’ Instagram account, pictures of the future killer flashing firearms would have been a clear indication that the poster was that Nikolas Cruz. The one who told the world he aspired to be a professional school shooter.
What’s more, YouTube has the IP address of commentators, all of which must register with the site to post a comment.
Unless Cruz posted the comment from a burner phone, Google could have identified him in seconds. What are the odds Google would have denied the FBI’s request, or that the FBI wouldn’t have been able to get a warrant for the relevant records if they had?
As far as we know, no such request was made to YouTube or Google by the FBI.
I know the FBI can’t chase down every report of nefarious activity, including potential spree killers. But the FBI claims they did take bondsman Ben Bennight’s report seriously enough to investigate. The contention that this investigation was doomed to hit a dead-end is patently ridiculous.
Sh*t happens. A federal agency’s failure to find a future spree killer — whether through work overload or bureaucratic incompetence — is entirely predictable. All the more reason to be ready to eliminate the threat at the sharp end, by force of arms.