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FBI director pushes Obama agenda, claims 'No evidence' Calif. shooters supported jihad on social media

FBI director pushes Obama agenda, claims 'No evidence' Calif. shooters supported jihad on social media

By Julian Hattem for The Hill

The FBI said on Wednesday that suspected San Bernardino, Calif., shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik did not express their support for jihad publicly on social media, potentially undercutting efforts to ramp up surveillance of foreign travelers’ online presences.


FBI Director James Comey told reporters that there was “no evidence of a posting on social media by either of them" to reflect that they had been radicalized.

The communications instead were “direct, private messages,” the FBI head said during a news conference in New York.

“I’ve seen some reporting on that and that’s a garble.”

Comey’s comments appear to undercut calls from national security hawks for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials to ramp up their scrutiny of social media accounts of people coming into the country through various visa programs.

During Tuesday evening’s Republican presidential debate, multiple candidates dinged the Obama administration for reports indicating that officials had been barred from screening foreigners’ social media accounts because of privacy concerns.

“It's not a lack of competence that is preventing the Obama administration from stopping these attacks. It is political correctness,” Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.

“We didn't monitor the Facebook posting of the female San Bernardino terrorist because the Obama DHS [Department of Homeland Security] thought it would be inappropriate. She made a public call to jihad, and they didn't target it.”

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