Islamic Terrorist, Pakistan, And Public Relations

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(by Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz, James Gordon Meek and Josh Margolin, ABC News) – The State Department said on Monday that “obviously things went wrong” in the visa background check for one of the San Bernardino shooters — comments that came in the wake of an ABC News report that said officials by policy generally do not check social media postings of applicants due to civil liberties concerns and therefore would not have seen purported evidence of Islamic terrorist Tashfeen Malik’s radicalization online. “It’s difficult to say exactly what [went wrong] and how, but for an individual to be able to come into this country – one who the FBI has maintained had terrorist tendencies or affiliations or sympathies at least for a couple years,…show more content…
Cohen is now a national security consultant for ABC News. One current and one former senior counter-terrorism official confirmed Cohen’s account about the refusal of DHS to change its policy about the public social media posts of all foreign applicants. A spokesperson for the DHS, Marsha Catron, told ABC News that months after Cohen left, in the fall of 2014, the Department began three pilot programs to include social media in vetting*, but current officials say that it is still not a widespread policy. A review of the broader policy is already underway, the DHS said. [*Vetting is the process of performing a background check on someone before offering them employment, giving them a visa, etc. ] The revelation comes as members of Congress question why U.S. officials failed to review the social media posts of San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik. She received a U.S. visa in May 2014, despite what the FBI said were extensive social media messages about jihad and martyrdom. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., demanded Sunday that the U.S. “immediately initiate a program that would check the social media sites of those admitted on visas.” “Had they checked out Tashfeen Malik,” the senator said, “maybe those people in San Bernardino would be alive.” Former DHS under-secretary Cohen said he and others pressed hard for just such a policy change in 2014 that would allow a review of publicly-posted social media messages as terror group followers increasingly used
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