Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Orlando Terror Attack | orlando | shooter | transcript | redacted | isis

Ex-FBI Tom Fuentes: Orlando Transcript Redactions Not Politically Motivated

Image: Ex-FBI Tom Fuentes: Orlando Transcript Redactions Not Politically Motivated
(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 20 Jun 2016 07:01 PM

The FBI's original release of redacted transcripts of the Orlando shooter's telephone conversations with law enforcement were not redacted because of pressure from the Obama White House, but in an effort not to give Islamic State recruiters another voice to use in recruitment efforts, a former FBI official told CNN on Monday.

"They didn't want it in his words verbatim," Tom Fuentes, former FBI assistant director, told "CNN Newsroom."

"To have the FBI say it is one thing," Fuentes said. "They just didn't want it coming out of his mouth from the grave still extolling the virtues of [ISIS leader Abu Bakr al] Baghdadi and ISIS; that's all."

The FBI reversed itself three hours after initially releasing the redacted version after it received criticism from conservatives who accused the law enforcement organization of kowtowing to the Obama administration's reluctance to tie the attack to Islamic terrorism.

Former CIA counterterrorism analyst Buck Sexton called Fuentes' explanation "nonsense," since "everybody could tell what was redacted" and ISIS had already gotten the "full propaganda bump" from shooter Omar Mateen's actions.

Sexton called it "a very clumsy attempt" to give deference to political correctness that ended up instead being "a bizarre act and Soviet level propaganda."

Fuentes insisted he still has friends inside the bureau who assured him the decision, though possibly misguided, was made in-house and not by the Obama administration.

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The FBI's original release of redacted transcripts of the Orlando shooter's telephone conversations with law enforcement were not redacted because of pressure from the Obama White House, but in an effort not to give Islamic State recruiters another voice to use in...
orlando, shooter, transcript, redacted, isis
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2016-01-20
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 07:01 PM
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