We have the most Orwellian domestic spy network in the history of the world, yet our intelligence agencies can’t prevent mass shootings like this despite tons of warning signs.
Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and frequent YouTube vlogger noticed an alarming comment left on one of his videos. “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” said a user named Nikolas Cruz.
The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment and calling the bureau’s Mississippi field office. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.
Agents with the bureau’s Mississippi field office got back to him “immediately,” Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.
“They came to my office the next morning and asked me if I knew anything about the person,” Bennight told BuzzFeed News. “I didn’t. They took a copy of the screenshot and that was the last I heard from them.”
FBI agents contacted Bennight again Wednesday, after a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, killing at least 17 people.
…At a press conference Thursday morning, the FBI confirmed that it had received and looked into a tip about the “professional school shooter” comment on Bennight’s YouTube channel, but could not uncover any details from the account.
“No other information was included in the comment, which would indicate a time, location, or true identity of the person who made the comment,” special agent Robert Lasky told reporters. “The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, but was unable to further identify the person who made the comment.”
Did they subpoena his IP address? His ISP could likely pinpoint that down to the exact home he was in. It seems hard to believe they would have found nothing had they actually subpoenaed his IP.
FBI Special Agent in Charge, Robert Lasky, addresses @bri_sacks scoop about the FBI being warned about a comment about school violence from the shooter’s name in September.
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) February 15, 2018
FBI on YouTube user who made “professional school shooter” comment: “The FBI conducted database reviews [and] checks, but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment.” pic.twitter.com/qNnNeca3C8
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 15, 2018
If he’s posting, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” under his real name in a public forum on YouTube, odds are he wanted to get caught. As many students have said, everyone thought he was going to be a shooter.
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) February 14, 2018
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