Neon Newswire: US
Terrorism possible cause for attack in California
San Bernardino, California- The FBI is looking into the attack in southern California that killed 14 people at a social services center as a possible terrorist attack. The married couple that carried out the attack had been in contact with several extremists both in the United States and abroad.
The couple went to the Inland Regional Center armed with two assault rifles, two semiautomatic pistols and left behind an explosive device made up of three pipe bombs that did not explode. At the time of attack, the pair had 1,400 rounds for the rifles and 200 rounds for the pistols. Thousands of rounds of ammunition were found at their residence in Redlands, California along with 12 more pipe bombs. The guns used in the attack were all legally purchased.
“Clearly they were equipped and they could have done another attack. We intercepted them before that happened obviously,” said Police Chief Jarrod Burguan of the San Bernardino Police Department.
The pair fled the scene of the worst mass shooting since the Newtown School Shooting in a black SUV. The two died in a shootout with police in the SUV three hours after the attack. FBI and other law enforcement officials are still investigating the motives for the attack.
Texas sues federal government to block refugees
The Attorney General of Texas filed suit at the US District Court in Dallas against the Department of State, The Department of Health and Human Services, and the International Rescue Committee, one of nine charities aiding Syrian refugees.
The suit cites the Refugee Act of 1980 which requires the federal government to, “consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with state and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among states and localities before their placement in those states and localities.”
The state has claimed that the federal government failed in its legal duty and that it was prevented “from receiving vital information to assess the security risk posed by the refugees in advance of their arrival.”
The first family to be resettled in Dallas is to arrive from Jordan on Friday according to the IRC. A statement issued by the charity on Wednesday said that the committee “has a cooperative agreement with the US Department of State and is bound by its terms with regard to the placement of refugees in the United States. We will continue to abide by the terms of our agreement and continue to resettle refugees, including Syrians, in Texas.”
A Department of Justice spokesperson said that they would review the complaint when it was served.
House Committee concludes Secret Service is ‘an Agency in Crisis’
The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee released a highly critical report of the Secret Service early on Thursday. The report claims that there have been 143 security breaches or attempted breaches at facilities secured by the Secret Service in the last 10 years. The committee has been investigating the agency since April of 2012 when the infamous South American prostitution scandal became public.
In that time the agency has had three directors and has fired, transferred, or disciplined multiple agents and senior officials. The agency has also had a string of high profile scandals in the last three years.
“Morale is down, attrition is up, misconduct continues and security breaches persist. Strong leadership from the top is required to fix the systemic mismanagement within the agency and to restore it to its former prestige,” said Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) the chairman of the committee Thursday.
The report goes on to cite deep budget cuts by Congress as a reason for the failings of the agency.
Elijah Cummings (D-MD) the ranking Democrat on the committee said that Congress “cannot make some of the biggest budget cuts in the history of the Secret Service and expect no repercussions to the agency’s staffing and its critical mission.”
The report makes the recommendation that staffing be increased as the agency is understaffed and the agents are overworked.