Former FBI agent and News 5 analyst Jim Burkett says while tragic, an attack like the one in Orlando is not really a surprise that someone would try another attack like this on U.S. soil. He says for years, the FBI and other agencies have been successful in thwarting attacks like this, and are constantly investigating leads that may stop planned future attacks. However, he says, it only takes one successful attack to strike fear.
Burkett, who conducted investigations for the agency in the wake of 9-11, says even though ISIS has taken some credit for the Orlando attack, investigators will try to determine whether it was directed or the work of a lone wolf. Omar Mateen was a U.S. citizen but there were reports he may have had radical leanings. Even if he was a so-called lone wolf, Burkett says it is still an act of international terrorism. That means investigators will be looking for information beyond U.S. borders.
With lone wolf attacks Burkett says surveillance plays a key role in determine if any individual is poised to commit an act of terrorism. It’s not known whether Mateen rose to the level of being recognized as high level enough to warrant that kind of full surveillance.