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Cruz Criticizes Federal Law Enforcement on Terrorism

Former presidential candidate and current Texas Senator Ted Cruz criticized the Obama administration for what he perceives to be a lackluster effort by law enforcement to contain and deal with terrorism.

The Hill reports:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is pushing the Obama administration for details on the suspect in a series of bombings in and around New York, questioning why law enforcement agencies weren’t able to prevent the attack.

Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI Director James Comey, arguing government agencies “are not as effective as they could be in spotting and monitoring potential terrorists.”

“Law enforcement, to be sure, will never be able to prevent every conceivable attack. … But as the facts of this particular case continue to emerge, it is clear that the federal government’s law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies are not as effective as they could be,” Cruz wrote in the letter.

Cruz’s letter comes after a series of explosions earlier this month in New York and New Jersey. Ahmad Khan Rahami was charged last week for the East Coast bombings.

The Texas Republican said the attacks are a “stark reminder that radical Islamic terrorism remains a gave threat” to Americans and questioned why law enforcement wasn’t already monitoring Rahami.

Reports emerged after the bombings that Rahami’s father, Mohammad Rahami, told New Jersey police more than two years ago that his son was a terrorist. But the elder Rahami recanted, and the FBI said earlier this month that it did not find links to extremism during that investigation.

Cruz, pointing to the claims and Rahami’s reported travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said “red flags” raised by the case are similar to other attacks, including a shooting late last year in San Bernardino, Calif., and the Boston Marathon bombing.

“The government’s failure to understand the significance of the common threads that unite these cases raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s approach to counterterrorism,” Cruz wrote in the letter.

He floated that the “government’s ideological blinders” could be to blame for not stopping Rahami before the East Coast bombings.

“Instead of acknowledging the ideology that inspires acts of terrorism by radicalized Muslims, the administration has insisted that ideology is irrelevant in identifying potential terrorists and that all terrorists are simply ‘violent extremists,'” he added.

Cruz is asking for additional details on Rahami, including whether law enforcement officials tried to determine if he had contacted “radical Islamist persons, groups, mosques or schools” while traveling, why the FBI decided not to monitor Rahami after his father’s accusations and if agents reviewed his case after the attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.

The Texas Republican wants to know what the government has done after the California shooting to determine a person’s potential for becoming radicalized when they marry “a foreign spouse from a region where radical Islamic terrorism is prevalent.”

Cruz also wants details on law enforcement interviews and investigations after someone returns from traveling to “regions where radical Islamic terrorism is prevalent,” including if customs officials can ask travelers to identify the countries that they visited.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

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