After 15 years of service to his country at Homeland Security, Philip Haney left, believing that the Obama’s enforced political scrubbing of Muslim intelligence records needed to stop future terror attacks.
Speaking with Sean Hannity, Haney said that had the records not been deleted, “Farook would have been put on the no-fly list and not allowed to travel, or his pending fiancé would have been denied a visa because of his affiliation with an organization with plausible ties to terrorism.”
“Oh, my God,” Hannity responded. “This is unconscionable.”
The following testimony from Philip Haney, breaking his silence, uncovers how Obama has kept the DHS from using their intelligence gathered to connect the dots and stop terror attacks. Travel back to 2009, when Flight 253 would have been blown up had the passengers not subdued Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Obama excoriated the DHS for dropping the ball.
Amid the chaos of the 2009 holiday travel season, jihadists planned to slaughter 290 innocent travelers on a Christmas Day flight from the Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan. Twenty-three-year old Nigerian Muslim Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab intended to detonate Northwest Airlines Flight 253, but the explosives in his underwear malfunctioned and brave passengers subdued him until he could be arrested. The graphic and traumatic defeat they planned for the United States failed, that time.
Following the attempted attack, President Obama threw the intelligence community under the bus for its failure to “connect the dots.” He said, “this was not a failure to collect intelligence, it was a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
Philip Haney said Obama’s words destroyed the morale of the DHS and the rage toward the administration was deep, as there was a “bureaucratic effort to destroy actual intelligence gathered”.
Most Americans were unaware of the enormous damage to morale at the Department of Homeland Security, where I worked, his condemnation caused. His words infuriated many of us because we knew his administration had been engaged in a bureaucratic effort to destroy the raw material—the actual intelligence we had collected for years, and erase those dots. The dots constitute the intelligence needed to keep Americans safe, and the Obama administration was ordering they be wiped away.
In early November, prior to the December Day attack, Haney was ordered to delete or modify several hundred records of people tied to specific Islamist terror groups. Forced to scrub records and prohibited from entering important information, tied the hands of these agents.
Just before that Christmas Day attack, in early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.” Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.
A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack. While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to “connect the dots” in the future—especially before an attack occurs.
Haney makes this provocative points, that the type of information that the Obama administration has ordered wiped from travel and national security databases the type that could have helped prevent subsequent attacks.
As the number of successful and attempted Islamic terrorist attacks on America increased, the type of information that the Obama administration ordered removed from travel and national security databases was the kind of information that, if properly assessed, could have prevented subsequent domestic Islamist attacks like the ones committed by Faisal Shahzad (May 2010), Detroit “honor killing” perpetrator Rahim A. Alfetlawi (2011); Amine El Khalifi, who plotted to blow up the U.S. Capitol (2012); Dzhokhar or Tamerlan Tsarnaev who conducted the Boston Marathon bombing (2013); Oklahoma beheading suspect Alton Nolen (2014); or Muhammed Yusuf Abdulazeez, who opened fire on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee (2015).
“It is demoralizing—and infuriating,” said Haney. “It is very plausible that one or more of the subsequent terror attacks on the homeland could have been prevented… if DHS had been allowed to do our jobs in late 2009.”