Senators press FBI director on response to terrorism threat
Republican senators pressed FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday about whether anything more could have been done to prevent recent acts of extremist violence, including the Orlando nightclub massacre and the Manhattan bombing this month. Comey said the FBI is fallible and transparent about its mistakes, but he did not concede that anything should have been done differently or that any red flags were missed.
The questions arose because the FBI has said it investigated Orlando gunman Omar Mateen a few years before the June shooting and interviewed him as part of that probe. The FBI in 2014 also looked into Ahmad Khan Rahami, the Afghan-born U.S. citizen accused in the explosion but found nothing that tied him to terrorism. Two senators, in particular, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, said they were alarmed that both individuals had at one point been on the FBI’s radar but were not intercepted.