Feds Still in Cover-up Mode: Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooter Indictment Omits Terrorism

Judicial Watch

A grand jury in south Florida just indicted the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter, but the feds are still in cover-up mode so terrorism isn’t even mentioned though an FBI agent testified in court that the attack was carried out on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Instead the gunman, who years ago took on an Islamic name, was charged with murder for killing five people and wounding six others during a bloody rampage in the airport’s baggage claim area earlier this month.

Days after the massacre that shut down one of the state’s busiest airports, Judicial Watch reported that the shooter, Esteban Santiago, is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online. A California-based investigative news site dug up the information while the mainstream media blindly repeated the Obama administration’s version of the facts though early on a photo surfaced of Santiago making an ISIS salute while wearing a keffiyeh, a Palestinian Arab scarf. This was disturbingly reminiscent of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya.

The records contradict the official government version that Santiago is a mentally ill, Hispanic Army veteran who became unhinged after a tour in Iraq. Additionally, at a bond hearing in a south Florida federal court last week, an FBI special agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) testified that Santiago carried out the attack on behalf of ISIS. The agent, Michael Ferlazzo, also said that Santiago had communicated with Islamic terrorists who were planning attacks on internet “jihadi chat rooms.” Regardless, the initial criminal complaint omits any reference to terrorism. It charges Santiago with performing an act of violence at an airport, using a firearm in the course of a crime of violence and causing death through the use of a firearm. It also reveals that he fired 10 to 15 rounds of ammunition from his firearm, aiming at his victims’ heads and walking while shooting on a methodical manner.

This week’s 22-count grand jury indictment also fails to mention terrorism, even though it was issued after the JTTF FBI agent confirmed Santiago’s ISIS ties in court. Instead, it only charges Santiago with five counts of causing death at an international airport, six counts of causing serious bodily injury at an international airport, five counts of causing death during a crime of violence and six counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Santiago “committed the offense after substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death,” the indictment states. The document is longer (19 pages) than the original complaint because it mentions the victims by name in the different counts. The grand jury also adopted special findings seeking the death penalty for Santiago though federal prosecutors will ultimately decide that.

FBI Confirms JW Reports Involving Ft. Lauderdale Shooter’s Terrorist Ties

Judicial Watch

The FBI has confirmed what Judicial Watch reported last week, that the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter has ties to radical Islam and carried out the attack on behalf of a terrorist group. During a bond hearing in a south Florida federal court this week, an FBI special agent testified that the shooter, Esteban Santiago, communicated with Islamic terrorists in “jihadi chat rooms” and committed the massacre on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Santiago killed five people and wounded six others during the bloody rampage in the baggage claim area of the Ft. Lauderdale Airport earlier this month. Authorities immediately attributed the attack to mental illness, saying that Santiago was a Hispanic Army veteran that became unhinged after a tour in Iraq. Santiago has been charged with an act of violence at an international airport, which could get him a death sentence. According to the federal complaint, Santiago fired 10 to 15 rounds of ammunition from his firearm, aiming at his victims’ heads and walking while shooting in a methodical manner. At this week’s bond hearing, FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo testified that Santiago said he was fighting for ISIS and had been in touch with other terrorists who were planning attacks in jihadi internet chat rooms. The judge ruled that Santiago be held without bond and his next court appearance is scheduled for January 30.

Last week Judicial Watch ignited a ruckus after revealing that Santiago is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online. The Obama administration’s efforts to keep the pertinent information quiet in the aftermath of the shooting brought up memories of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya. In the Ft. Lauderdale attack the traditional mainstream media coverage promoted the government rhetoric that omitted any ties to terrorism even though early on a photo surfaced of Santiago making an ISIS salute while wearing a keffiyeh, a Palestinian Arab scarf.

Records uncovered in the days after the massacre suggest Santiago (Hammad) is a radical Islamic terrorist that’s seriously committed to Islam. Besides taking on a Muslim name, he recorded three Islamic religious songs, including the Muslim declaration faith (“there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”) known as the Shahada. He also posted a thread about downloading propaganda videos from Islamic terrorists on a weapons and explosives forum. The investigative news site that unearthed this disturbing information connected the dots between Santiago, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Hammad, an identity he created in 2007.

It’s still not clear why Santiago chose Ft. Lauderdale, out of all the nation’s airports, to carry out his attack. The facility is situated in Broward County, which has a large and growing Islamic community and questions remain involving who Santiago knows in the area. In 2015 Judicial Watch obtained records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that show an Al Qaeda terrorist who helped plan several U.S. attacks lived in Broward County and graduated from the local community college with a degree in computer engineering. His name is Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, but he also has a Hispanic identity, Javier Robles, and for years he appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list. Back in 2012 Judicial Watch reported on a terrorist front group’s demands that Broward County public schools close twice a year to celebrate Islamic holy days, illustrating the influence that Muslims have in the region.

Airport Shooter Converted to Islam, Identified as Aashiq Hammad Years Before Joining Army

Judicial Watch

The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online, according to public records dug up by the investigative news site of an award-winning, California journalist. This is pertinent information that the Obama administration apparently wants to keep quiet, bringing up memories of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya.

Information is slowly trickling out that links the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter to radical Islam while the official story from authorities is that the gunman is a mentally ill, Hispanic Army veteran named Esteban Santiago that became unhinged after a tour in Iraq. Only one mainstream media outlet mentions the possibility of Santiago’s “jihadist identity,” burying it in a piece about New York possibly being his initial target. A paragraph deep in the story mentions that investigators recovered Santiago’s computer from a pawn shop and the FBI is examining it to determine whether he created a “jihadist identity for himself using the name Aashiq Hammad…” The reset of the traditional mainstream media coverage promotes the government rhetoric that omits any ties to terrorism even though early on a photo surfaced of Santiago making an ISIS salute while wearing a keffiyeh, a Palestinian Arab scarf.

The public records uncovered in the days after the massacre suggest Santiago (Hammad) is a radical Islamic terrorist that’s seriously committed to Islam. Besides taking on a Muslim name, he recorded three Islamic religious songs, including the Muslim declaration faith (“there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”) known as the Shahada. He also posted a thread about downloading propaganda videos from Islamic terrorists on a weapons and explosives forum. The investigative news site that unearthed this disturbing information connected the dots between Santiago, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Hammad, an identity he created in 2007.

This week a prominent Ft. Lauderdale businessman and longtime resident addressed a letter to the city’s mayor and commissioners blasting county and federal officials for covering up that “Aashiq Hammad, not Esteban Santiago, attacked our city and county.” The businessman, respected Ft. Lauderdale real estate entrepreneur Jim Morlock, specifically names Broward County’s elected sheriff Scott Israel, Florida senator Bill Nelson, the first to identify Santiago as the shooter on national television, and congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, ousted last summer as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair over a scandalous plot to damage Bernie Sanders during the primary.

“Since when does a US Senator (Bill Nelson), not law enforcement, be the one to so quickly release this terrorist’s Hispanic name but nothing about his more relevant Islamic background?” the letter asks. Obama must have told Sen. Nelson to keep this from looking like a Muslim Terrorist attack during the last 12 days of his watch. Bad for his legacy.” Morlock goes on to state that it’s “better to portray this atrocity as white Hispanic Alaskan mental Iraq war vet gun violence.” The real estate entrepreneur proceeds to reveal that Santiago lives in walking distance to the only mosque in Alaska, was radicalized before he entered the military and was knowingly allowed to serve despite his Islamic sympathies thanks to “Obama’s PC military.”

The letter poses interesting questions, including why this Muslim terrorist chose Ft. Lauderdale out of all the nation’s airports and who Santiago knows in Broward county, which has a large and growing Islamic community. In 2015 Judicial Watch obtained records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that show and Al Qaeda terrorist who helped plan several U.S. attacks lived in Broward County and graduated from the local community college with a degree in computer engineering. His name is Adnan G. El Shukrijumah, but he also had a Hispanic identity, Javier Robles, and for years he appeared on the FBI’s most wanted list. Back in 2012 Judicial Watch reported on a terrorist front group’s demands that Broward County public schools close twice a year to celebrate Islamic holy days, illustrating the influence that Muslims have in the region.