DHS Whistleblower Says His Investigation Could Have Prevented San Bernardino Terrorist Attack
One of the founding members of the Department of Homeland Security claims he could have prevented the San Bernardino terror attack if the government had not shut down a surveillance program he was developing three years ago.
Philip Haney worked in the Intelligence Review Unit (IRU), where his job was to investigate individuals with potential links to terrorism. He was looking into global terror networks that were infiltrating radical Islamists into the U.S. and was making progress to that end, when the Obama State Department came in and pulled the plug.
Fox News' Trace Gallagher reported that "about a year into that investigation, they got a visit from the State Department and the Homeland Security Civil Rights Division who said that tracking these groups and individuals was 'problematic' because they were Islamic groups. Haney says his investigation was shut down, and 67 of his records deleted -- among them, an investigation into an organization with ties to the mosque in Riverside that San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook attended."
Haney says he notified Congress and the inspector general about his investigation getting terminated, but instead of the investigation getting reinstated, Haney claims his superiors retaliated, pulling him from his duties and revoking his security clearance.
The whistleblower told Megyn Kelly Thursday night that as part of his investigation, he was looking into an Islamic movement known as *Tablighi Jamaat that was part of a larger group called **Deobandi, which was infiltrating radical Islamists into the U.S.
"We had thousands of organizations or individuals in the database and we tracked them as they moved in and out of the United States on the Visa Waver program. That's what first brought the group to our attention. And as we developed a case, and started putting the pieces in place, we gained more evidence of their activities," Haney explained.
He said Farook's mosque is part of a global network of similar mosques under the umbrella of Tablighi Jamaat.
Haney explained that if his work was allowed to continue, it could possibly have thwarted last week's attack.
"Either Syed would have been put on the no-fly list because association with that mosque, and/or the K-1 visa that his wife was given may have been denied because of his affiliation with a known organization," Haney explained.
Haney said he knows that his investigation was shut down because he was engaging in "profiling" because "we FOIAed the case."
According to the whistleblower, the internal memos said, "We are not allowed to develop a case based on Tablighi Jamaat specifically and/or any Islamic group."
Asked by Fox News for comment, DHS only said, "'there are many holes in Mr. Haney's story,' but they couldn't comment further because of privacy laws."
*Some background on Tablighi Jamaat via the Middle East Quarterly:
Tablighi Jamaat has always adopted an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam, but in the past two decades, it has radicalized to the point where it is now a driving force of Islamic extremism and a major recruiting agency for terrorist causes worldwide. For a majority of young Muslim extremists, joining Tablighi Jamaat is the first step on the road to extremism. Perhaps 80 percent of the Islamist extremists in France come from Tablighi ranks, prompting French intelligence officers to call Tablighi Jamaat the "antechamber of fundamentalism." U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly adopting the same attitude. "We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States," the deputy chief of the FBI's international terrorism section said in 2003, "and we have found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past."
**And via GlobalSecurity.org, some info on Deobandi Islam:
The Deobandi interpretation holds that a Muslim's first loyalty is to his religion and only then to the country of which he is a citizen or a resident; secondly, that Muslims recognise only the religious frontiers of their Ummah and not the national frontiers; thirdly,that they have a sacred right and obligation to go to any country to wage jihad to protect the Muslims of that country.
The Deobandi interpretation of Islamic teachings is widely practiced in Pakistan. The Deobandi movement in Sunni Islam, was founded in response to British colonial rule in India and later hardened in Pakistan into bitter opposition to what its members views as the country's neo-colonial elite. The Islamic Deobandi militants share the Taliban's restrictive view of women, and regard Pakistan's minority Shiia as non-Muslim. They seek a pure leader, or amir, to recreate Pakistani society according to the egalitarian model of Islam's early days under the Prophet Mohammed. President Musharraf himself, is a Deobandi, actually born in the city in India, where the school took it's name.