“I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” These were the words written by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz months before he opened fire in a Parkland, Florida high school Wednesday.
Grieving family and friends are now reeling in the aftermath of the tragedy as reports state the FBI was aware of Cruz’s erratic and hostile behavior before it truly surfaced.
Last fall, YouTube vlogger Ben Bennight, 36, noticed the alarming declaration from Cruz had been left on one of his videos and sought out FBI officials, taking a screenshot of the comment before removing it from the video entirely.
According to BuzzFeed News, officials responded “immediately” and requested an in-person interview with Bennight the next day.
“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.”
However, as more is uncovered about the FBI’s mishaps in handling persons of interest — such as Cruz — a list has been compiled by Grabien News that suggests the Valentine’s Day shooting isn’t the only one they’ve been tipped off about.
This is the current list:
1. Boston. According to reports, the FBI and U.S. law enforcement were sent, via Russia, a warning about bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The FBI allegedly interviewed the suspect and let him go, even opting against investigating him later after a second warning swept through the department from Russian officials. The bombing left three dead and 16 injured.
2. Fort Hood. In a string of emails sent to the FBI, soldier Nidal Hasan openly admitted that he wanted his fellow soldiers dead in order to protect the Taliban. Officials failed to intervene, leading to a tragedy that resulted in the death of 31 Americans.
3. NYC Bomber. Third on this list is NYC bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, whose own father alerted officials of the radicalization of his son. After a brief interview, Rahami was cleared by FBI officials, though he eventually injured 31 people between New Jersey and New York.
4. Pulse Nightclub. In yet another attack on American soil, 49 people were killed and another 53 wounded after Omar Mateen opened fire through its doors. Despite a 10-month investigation of the would-be shooter — during which he admitted to lying to officials — the FBI decided against taking further action.
5. Garland, Texas. In a recent report from CBS, the FBI had an undercover agent traveling with Islamists Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi for intel on a pending attack during a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas. Not only did officials know of a pending attack, but have refused to comment on why their agent didn’t intervene when the attack took place. Though a security officer was shot, the attackers were killed before they could harm any others.
7. 9/11. In a report by FBI agent Coleen Rowley, allegations were made stating that the FBI mishandled leads within its Minneapolis office during the investigation into the alleged 9/11 mastermind Zacarias Moussaoui. Rowley chronicles the early aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers as she and other agents scoured through pre-attack events concerning Moussaoui’s investigation.
“Everyone’s first question was ‘Why?—Why would an FBI agent(s) deliberately sabotage a case?’” Rowley wrote. “I know I shouldn’t be flippant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key FBI HQ personnel had to be spies or moles like Robert Hanssen who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis’s effort.”
“I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mis-characterized,” Rowley said. “In an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons.”
An honorable mention may also be had with the South Carolina massacre at the hands of Dylann Roof, who was allegedly cleared by the FBI to buy firearms. Then-director of the FBI James Comey admitted that it was merely an error in the background check system that eventually allowed Roof to kill nine parishioners in cold blood.
“We are all sick this happened,” Comey said of the mishaps that enmeshed his department with the fatal shooting — and that of too many others.