Twenty-four-year-old Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes bought an assault rifle, two automatics, a shotgun and 6,000 rounds of ammunition without ever showing up on the radar of law enforcement.
Yet 26-year-old Muslim-American Rezwan Ferdaus, who pleaded guilty in Boston last week to terrorism charges related to a plot to fly remote-controlled airplanes into federal buildings, was the focus of a year-long sting operation that provided him with material support that he otherwise likely would not have had to commit crimes. A comparison of the two cases raises troubling questions about FBI priorities and intelligence-gathering.
National security expert James Bamford told WBUR reporter David Boeri, “I think if Holmes had a Muslim name he would have come into a great deal of attention with a lot less purchases.” Boeri suggests that FBI could use the kind of intelligence-gathering process the Drug Enforcement Agency puts into practice in Massachusetts: staying in contact with community leaders who might be able to tip agents off to any unusual behavior.
Jeremy Hobson joins Robin Young as co-host of Here & Now in its new 2-hour format, from WBUR and NPR.
Residents have decided not to hold a public commemoration to mark the first anniversary this coming Saturday of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.2 Comments | more »
School bullying used to take place in hallways and classrooms. Now much of it happens online. Some school districts are hiring private companies to monitor social media for potential problems.9 Comments | more »
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland, was a friend of former South African President Nelson Mandela. She joins us and says, “He was the best of us.”Comment | more »