FBI technicians have been unable to unlock encrypted data on a cellphone that belonged to the terrorist couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino on Dec. 2, the FBI director said Tuesday.
The failure, the second such case in recent months, has left investigators in the dark about at least some of the married couple’s communications before they were killed in a shootout with police.
“We still have one of those killers’ phones that we haven’t been able to open,” FBI Director James B. Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee. “It has been two months now and we are still working on it.”
FBI investigators have struggled to retrace the movements and plans of Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, before and after they attacked a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center.
The encrypted data could shed light on why Farook left a bag with several homemade pipe bombs in the conference room, whether they considered additional attacks, or whether the couple was in communication with anyone about their plans before the attack.
The government can’t adequately protect us, and in many states it won’t let us adequately protect ourselves.
At least we have the president’s soothing words from the State of the Union address about how swell things are going.
If radical Islam’s Couple of the Year for 2015 were in touch with others, it certainly would be nice to know. The sleepers here in America tend to be patient types and willing to wait for prime opportunities. This little tech glitch may allow them to credibly establish completely different identities while awaiting new orders.
Seriously though, with the money being spent on this (especially since an entirely new federal behemoth was created just to handle this stuff) shouldn’t there be someone in American law enforcement who can crack an encrypted Jihadi burner phone?
Maybe we’re devoting too many resources to scanning ten year-old kids from Kansas at our airports.