FBI: Censoring ‘ISIS’ From Transcripts Will Stop Terrorism

FBI: Censoring ‘ISIS’ From Transcripts Will Stop Terrorism

In a press conference in Orlando on Monday, an FBI agent said that censoring the word “ISIS” from the Orlando terrorist’s 911 call will stop future attacks.

During his attack on a gay night club in Orlando, Omar Mateen placed three calls to 911, in which he claimed allegiance to ISIS and to the leader of the Islamic State several times, according to public statements made by FBI Director James Comey.

But now, the FBI is attempting to hide that information so as to not “inflame other people,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper explained.

“Part of the redacting is meant it not give credence to individuals who have done terrorist acts in the past,” Hopper said. “We’re not going to propagate their violent rhetoric and we see no effort to putting those individuals names back out there. We are trying to prevent future action from happening. And for cowards like this one, people like that influence them so we’re not going to continue to put their names out front.”

When a reporter asked why the FBI doesn’t want to let the shooter speak for himself, Hopper responded that the agency is afraid that other “like-minded” people could get the wrong idea.

“We’re not going to propagate violent rhetoric that comes from other people whether they be here or overseas and to do that would only inflame other people here that might be like-minded,” he said. “There’s no purpose in doing that.”

Although Mateen called himself an Islamic fighter multiple times, the FBI is looking into other motivations Mateen might have had when he decided to murder people in a gay nightclub.

“We’re actually looking into any potential motive,” Hopper said. “We’re not limiting ourselves to coming up with just one motive. We’re looking at a myriad of things right now and that actually is ongoing as we speak, both through social media, friend contacts, people that have only met the individual for one time. That’s why we’re asking for anybody and everybody that’s had any contact with this individual to come forward so we can piece that information together for potential other motives as well.”

Even with the word “ISIS” redacted from the transcript, the shooter’s motivations are clear as day, as New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi pointed out.

In the beginning of the transcript of the 911 call, Mateen declares that his actions are to bring glory to Allah — which has been translated “God” in the transcript.

Even the grammar indicates that Mateen was pledging allegiance to a male person, and eyewitness accounts and earlier FBI statements confirmed that this person was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.

During a crisis negotiation call with authorities, Mateen referred to himself as an Islamic soldier.

The FBI’s decision to retroactively censor the word “ISIS” from the transcript after the director of the FBI stated publicly that the terrorist claimed allegiance to the terror group and the leader of a radical Islamist movement makes no sense.

The shooter was motivated by a radical ideology and stated publicly multiple times that he was acting on behalf of a terror group. Redacting words to make some people feel good doesn’t change what Mateen did or why, it just makes us ill-equipped to counteract the threat such an enemy poses to the safety and freedom of Americans. It also insults Muslims the world over by acting as if they are so mentally fragile that hearing someone has murdered others in their religion’s name will cause them to do the same.

Bre Payton is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter.
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