GLENN: Yesterday, the FBI arrested a Saudi immigrant who was living in Heather Ford, Oklahoma. That's about 70 miles west of Oklahoma City. While the rest of the press is worried about, who is going to alike what? Why don't we actually talk about the things that actually matter. This Saudi was charged with visa fraud. But what was he actually up to? Because the backstory is troubling. The man has lived in the US since 2011, and the FBI has been watching him for the past five months.
So far, the FBI hasn't said much about what he was under surveillance for, only that they were trying to determine whether or not he was involved in terrorist activities here in the United States.
Oklahoma, like it or not, has been a hotbed of this kind of activity for a long time. Perhaps, the most disturbing aspect of this man's story regarding his activity in the US, is that he obtained his pilot's license in 2016. Now, whether he got the license for nefarious purposes or not, it led to his arrest.
As a non-US citizen, he had to submit his fingerprints as part of the licensing process. Remarkably, the FBI was able to match his fingerprints with prints on a document that was captured in Afghanistan.
Think of that. If we ever want to say that the FBI or our government is -- is inefficient, just remember that. The captured document was an application for admission to Al Farook, which was al-Qaeda's most notorious training camp. Four of the September 11th hijackers were trained at Al Farook. Admissions to the camp required an invitation to join and a reference from someone al-Qaeda knew and trusted. So far, authorities haven't disclosed whether this man actually trained at the camp, but he apparently filled out the application in 2000.
The camp was destroyed by the US bombing campaign the weeks after the 9/11 attacks.
The FBI got lucky with this one. It has hundreds of thousands of captured documents, photographs, email, phone number, fingerprints, and DNA samples stored in northern Virginia and FBI headquarters in Washington that have not been researched. The agency lacks the resources to process this trove of material collected in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 17 years.
Good job, FBI. The Saudi man in Oklahoma was a good catch by the FBI. But this episode highlights the fact that there is still a mountain of fact that needs to be done in counterterrorism. And a lot of holes yet to plug in this immigration system. The federal government is set to borrow a trillion dollars this year. How much of that is actually earmarked for important stuff, like catching terrorists on American soil?