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Did the FBI Have Previous Knowledge of Florida Shooter Nikolas Cruz?

Did the FBI Have Previous Knowledge of Florida Shooter Nikolas Cruz?

“I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

BuzzFeed News dropped a bombshell today with a report that the FBI received a warning last fall from a YouTube vlogger and bail bondsman about a comment from a Nikolas Cruz. He supposedly said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz attacked students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Wednesday and killed 17 people. Officials charged him with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday.

From BuzzFeed:

The YouTuber, 36-year-old Ben Bennight, alerted the FBI, emailing a screenshot of the comment and calling the bureau’s Mississippi field office. He also flagged the comment to YouTube, which removed it from the video.

Agents with the bureau’s Mississippi field office got back to him “immediately,” Bennight said, and conducted an in-person interview the following day, on Sept. 25.

“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.”

FBI agents contacted Bennight again Wednesday, after a 19-year-old named Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, killing at least 17 people.

The BBC has reported that the FBI confirmed they received Bennight’s email and while they conducted checks on the YouTube user, they “were unable to identify the person behind it.” Bennight spoke to NBC News about it:

He suggested he was not convinced the FBI had dropped the ball, saying he did not know “that there was much they could have followed up with” after getting a tip about a “screen name and a vague comment.”

But he added: “I hope people learn that when somebody throws up red flags, that they need to pay more attention to them and not just … scoff ’em off.”

Jake Tapper had more:

Administrators at the school have long considered Cruz a threat. The school expelled him for reasons officials have not said, but administrators told teachers and staff last year that Cruz was not allowed “on the campus with a backpack:”

Math teacher Jim Gard remembered that the school administration earlier sent out an email warning teachers about Cruz.

“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said Gard, who had him in class. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”

The Miami Herald wrote that people who knew Cruz said he “was into weird stuff” and never spoke much. His now-deleted Instagram page had tons of photos of weapons. One post even had Allahu Akbar in Arabic, but officials still believe the shooting had nothing to do with terrorism. NBC News reported that some students said they even “joked that if anyone were to attack the school, it would probably be him.” Senior Eddie Bonilla said that Cruz often “threatened to bring guns to school.”

Lynda and Roger Cruz adopted Nikolas and his younger brother when the kids were really young. Roger died ten years ago and Lynda struggled with the two boys. Lynda recently died and Nikolas moved in with a friend:

After his mother died, Cruz moved in with a friend, whose family in Broward took him in and even gave him own bedroom. He worked at a dollar store and went to a school for at-risk youth, said Fort Lauderdale attorney Jim Lewis, who is representing the family.

Cruz had his AR-15, but the family asked that gun remain locked up in a cabinet, Lewis said. On Wednesday morning, Cruz slept in and gave only a cryptic reason why.

“He said, ‘It’s Valentine’s Day and I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,’” Lewis said.


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FBI unable to identify suspect who gave his full legal name. Interesting.

Maybe they were too busy trying to frame the President of the United States and overturn a legitimate election.

Hey, all you Agents of the “Resistance”, how will you wash the blood of 19 kids off your hands?

    Just because somebody posts something with Name X, does not mean their name is really X. Also, I’ve got a different take on this shooting than Rush. Not right or wrong, just different.

    The question: “Why didn’t the FBI do something about this?” is best answered by another question. “What should the FBI have done about this threat and the undoubtedly hundreds of similar threats they receive from schools all over the country, and the thousands of threats they receive from non-school entities?” After all, do we really *want* an FBI so large as to take over the policing of all schools, all public spaces, all other places where people gather?

    It matches with the anguished cries of the gun-banners who demand that we “Do something!” The question nobody asks them is “What do you propose? Should we make illegal a gun that five million law-abiding citizens own, making five million instant criminals?”

    Lots of questions, no really good answers. They’re all in my prayers.

      alaskabob in reply to georgfelis. | February 15, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Good points… but while the FBI wasn’t proactive, they do show up after the incident to better document it. Government gladly accepts responsibility for which there is no accountability.

      “Just because someone posts as Name X…”

      Fen: Hey Bob, see if you can track down the identity of the commenter Nikolas Cruz…

      Bob: Gosh golly, where to start?

      Fen: No idea, but you can probably save time by looking at suspects NOT named Nikolas Cruz.

        Fen in reply to Fen. | February 15, 2018 at 6:13 pm

        Bob: Eureka! The IP trail leads to a county in Maryland. That should narrow it down!

        Fen: Bob Bob Bob, don’t be so dense. IP addys can be faked. You should look everywhere EXCEPT Maryland.

Just after 9/11, I had a friend who saw some Muslims taking photos of government buildings in Columbus, OH. He called the FBI Hotline and got a recording, “Our hours of operation are 9AM to 4PM Monday through Friday…”

Interestingly, Grassley is already saying he wants to “discuss gun control.”

This is in sharp contrast to his statements last year after the Vegas shooting:

So here we go again, Republicans push policies when they are in the majority and have the WH that they reject when they are the minority in Congress and/or a Democrat is in the WH. We’ve seen this a million times, and it’s landed us with Reagan’s amnesty, unfunded prescription benefits, the EPA, the Patriot Act, and a zillion other big spending, big government GOP crap.

This is why grassroots Republican voters hate and distrust the GOP.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 15, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Then “Snake in the Grassley” (snark) is a FAKE!.

    We need more Open-Carry Laws!

    Speaking of which…..Hollywood has always done Western movies the wrong way – on purpose to make the more exciting. There was way, way less gun fighting in the Old West than portrayed in film.

    As one of my history instructors pointed out, almost all the men had served in the Civil War and knew how to handle a gun.
    Knowing there are lots and lots of people armed and skilled with a gun, cuts down on the “Crazies” that will go Wild the way the Democrat/Leftist/Communists have been deliberately trying to do.

    Grassley can kiss my ass. My rights aren’t up for debate from some virtue signaling Senator.

I understand the difficulty of finding someone based on just a screen name. However there is no way in hell that the FBI wouldn’t have had youtubes full cooperation in following the IP trail if they would have asked. They could have easily tracked down this disturbed young man.

The guy is a narcissistic creep. He lied, he planned, he screwed over people who tried to help him. Someone cared enough to adopt him. How much responsibility was demanded of him and others like him? So what will be the lesson to society? Right.. blame someone else or something else.

It is sad but the most worthless in society are the ones that cost society the most.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to alaskabob. | February 15, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Wayne Allen Root on his TV show last night, I think it was, was claiming the shooter was a registered Democrat and had posted many pictures of himself and ISIS flags. I believe that is what I heard last night.

    Close The Fed in reply to alaskabob. | February 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    I wonder what kind of life he had before he was adopted. People abused severely at a very early age have more issues than you can count.

      Yes, they do.

      Just about EVERYONE in prison has ‘issues.’ And, most of the population has ‘issues.’

      But only a fraction are that lowly and selfish to do what mass-shooters do.

      These freaks really can be stopped – by an armed citizenry.

      America doesn’t have a gun control problem. It has an a sociapathic a-hole problem. Started in the 60s and culminated in ‘barack hussein obama.’ We’re paying the price.

      Thank God for Donald Trump.

regulus arcturus | February 15, 2018 at 6:04 pm

FBI completely failed here.

We now have clear evidence of a pattern of corruption and failure at FBI. This is systemic, and cultural.

Dismantle FBI, and reconstitute as a different organization.

FBI is no longer an effective institution.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to regulus arcturus. | February 15, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Have to agree with you 100%.

    U.S. Spy agencies have been spying on U.S. citizens – illegally and legally – like never before, under the weird, alien Obama.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to regulus arcturus. | February 15, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Is the whole agency beyond redemption, or are the problems a result of Obama rot? I suspect that Obama promoted lots of affirmative and unqualified types into management positions.
    Perhaps, what the FBI needs is a thorough house cleaning?

      JusticeDelivered in reply to JusticeDelivered. | February 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      I think that in light of how Obama corrupted and Holder corrupted DOJ,the way they put ACORN operatives on DOJ’s payroll, probably helped to organize riots, looting assaults and property destruction, the way they allowed violations of people’s civil rights, threats against people like Zimmerman, Office Wilson and so many others, I can see that the FBI may have been corrupted in a similar manner.

    “FBI completely failed here.”

    Did it? In what way? Even if they had found Cruz and interviewed him and learned about his school fights, threats and carrying ammo around with him, what federal crime did he commit? If he did not commit any crime, should the FBI have obtained a warrant for surveillance from the FISA court and put a 24/7 tail on the guy? Exactly WHAT would have liked the FBI do, in this case?

    None of this was the FBI’s fault. It was not the fault of lax gun laws. It was not the fault of the rifle that he carried. The responsibility for this rests squarely upon the shoulders of the shooter and the school administrators who made it easy for him to enter the school and target the chil’ren.

      Exiliado in reply to Mac45. | February 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      … and the school administrators who made it easy for him

      But “surprisingly”, no one wants to talk about it.

      Fen in reply to Mac45. | February 15, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      “In what way?”

      If an arsonist sets my house on fire but the Fire Department blows off the 911 call, both are to blame for my house being burnt to the ground.

        Mac45 in reply to Fen. | February 15, 2018 at 9:16 pm

        So, let’s take a look at your arsonist. Let’s say that Bubba says “I’m going to become an arsonist.” Someone calls the FD and PD. Unlike this case, they actually find Bubba and talk to him. he say’s “I was just blowin’ off steam.” Even if Bubba has a history of burning trash in his back yard, he has committed NO criminal act in this case. So, a year later, Bubba burns down your house. The FD responds to the 911 call just as LE responded to the shooting call in Florida. How is the FD responsible for Bubba’s actions?

        Actually, if you suspected that there was any chance of an arsonist attempting to burn down your house, wouldn’t it be YOUR responsibility to install a sprinkler and alarm system and, possibly, have someone watching your house so that Bubba could not sneak in and burn it down?

        Want to try again?

          paracelsus in reply to Mac45. | February 16, 2018 at 10:38 am

          Good point – maybe.
          It’s my house, so yes. I should take precautions, but I’m not responsible for Bubba’s actions.
          Bubba’s certainly not responsible for his actions – doesn’t have the mental capacity to connect the dots.
          The FD certainly isn’t responsible for Bubba’s actions or he results.
          The PD – perhaps, but they can’t be everywhere 24/7/365. their resources are strained as is.
          Are we supposed to put everyone who gets pissed off and says something inappropriate once or twice, through the grist mill of “psychiatric” evaluation? G-d help the normal people!
          We need an answer to this problem if we’re to insure the safety of our population, young and old.
          Last, but not least, we just can’t place youngsters in schoolrooms, like ducks in a barrel, without providing them some protection.
          Thinking outside the box: there are other methods of education. We’ve just gotten too used to building schools that look like prisons and placing our youngsters in them six hours a day.
          Perhaps there’s something to be said for home-schooling.

      regulus arcturus in reply to Mac45. | February 15, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      They had the kid’s real name.

      They failed to do even the most basic cross-referencing of databases and social media.

      Rarely are they handed this much information in advance.

      The giveaway was how much info the incompetent media was able to gather on this freak right after the shooting just by looking at social media.

      Complete FBI fail. Time to dismantle them.

        YellowSnake in reply to regulus arcturus. | February 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm

        I am missing something here. Suppose the FBI found every single piece of info that you describe. Should he have been denied a gun?

        Someone should ask Trump if this guy should have been denied a gun because of his mental illness. It seems to me that no one is officially mentally ill until after the commit a heinous act. Then we get the pontification on mental health treatment.

          regulus arcturus in reply to YellowSnake. | February 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm

          You’re missing lots, as always.

          He should have been prevented from purchasing the AR, specifically when they ran him through the NICS background check.

          NICS didn’t talk to other databases, such as local LE (multiple calls to house), school districts with LE comms, etc.

          But the ultimate failure, as now admitted, was FBIs. They completely failed to follow protocol and fully investigate.

          Fools like you are now calling for more restrictions which will impact law abiding gun owners, but do nothing to prevent the next violent incident, rather than fixing what we already have in place and which should have prevented this massacre.

          YellowSnake in reply to YellowSnake. | February 16, 2018 at 2:26 pm

          @regulus arcturus Nope. You are a disingenuous liar. Everything you say could be true, but it is not even close to true.

          Trump has been in office over a year. He talks a lot about building a wall, but what has he done to fortify this system that that you allege would have kept Cruz from purchasing guns and ammunition? Are these databases complete and accurate? Why aren’t the connected? Can they talk to each other? Do you really want them to work or is it merely a talking point for the purpose of deflection?

          I have built databases. The data can be vetted and they can be made to talk to each other. But some entity has got to want that to happen. That entity needs to provide money and leadership – all very lacking in the Trump administration; all denied to the Obama administration by a republican congress and recalcitrant state and local governments.

          Would Cruz have gone to a gun show if he was denied? The local police knew about him. Why didn’t the police take his guns away? Could they have gotten a search warrant? On what grounds?

          Can you site a precedent where this occurred in the state of FL without a criminal conviction or an involuntary commitment?

          The NRA has been around since 1871. So what has the NRA done to encourage the implementation of what you claim would have prevented this atrocity? All talk; no action

          They offer their ‘hopes & prayers’. Is god listening? They pontificate on ‘mental illness’ and then do absolutely nothing

          Trump, guns, and mental illness

          Trump Undid Obama Rule That Added Mentally Ill People to Gun Check Register

          Is anything going to change now? Absolutely not!!!

      Barry in reply to Mac45. | February 16, 2018 at 11:32 pm

      “Did it? In what way?”

      In other words, we don’t need an FBI. They cannot do anything. Unless it’s investigating “right” wingers or religious cults.

      You know damn well what the FBI can do after it checks and determines there is a credible threat. Something they did not do here. They did nothing. Zero. Worthless.

      They’re too busy dreaming up golden showers.

    Not just the FBI. The school system expelled him yet didn’t involve law enforcement. They were so concerned about him they wouldn’t even allow him to bring a backpack to class prior to his expulsion and now they’re saying they had no idea he’d do something like this? Obviously it crossed someone’s mind and now they’re in CYA mode.

Could the school have notified the local police of this kid’s strange and threatening behavior – get him investigated and on some kind of list that might have shown up when he went to purchase weapons.

    Mac45 in reply to rabidfox. | February 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Here is how this works.

    The school could call the local LE. And, the LEA would investigate the alleged actions of Cruz. If he committed no crime or was not demonstrably a immediate danger to himself or others, a report will be generated and that will be the end of it. There is no “list” which a LEA can place anyone on, unless that person meets very clear criteria. This young man, while weird and potentially violent did not meet the criteria for arrest, emergency commitment or revocation of his right to own a firearm.

    At the moment, there is a raging debate in this country about veterans being denied the right to own firearms if they are undergoing ANY treatment for ANY psychological condition with the VA. The laws already prohibit a person who has been ruled incompetent or who has been the subject of a court ordered commitment from purchasing a firearm, commercially or possessing one.

      willow in reply to Mac45. | February 16, 2018 at 12:39 am

      “This young man, while weird and potentially violent did not meet the criteria for arrest, emergency commitment or revocation of his right to own a firearm.”

      I am not disagreeing with you, if your assumption is true. No one will know what an interview would have yielded. The kid seemed to be screaming for someone to notice he was a danger.

        Mac45 in reply to willow. | February 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

        Recent reports have the Broward Sheriff’s Office responding to this address 39 times over the last 7 years, at least once for a mentally ill person. Also, Cruz was on psychiatric medications at the time of the incident. He had been expelled from the high school for behavior problems and was in an alternative ed facility in the county. So, we can safely assume that the local high school and school district, the sheriff’s office and at least one psychiatrist was aware of his potential for violence and mental instability. Yet, everyone wants to dump on the FBI? Really?

        Look, because of the mental health policies advanced by liberal activists, legislators and judges, it is now nearly impossible to hold or commit a person for long term psychiatric treatment, unless they commit a crime of this nature.

        Could the FBI have done more to identify Cruz? maybe. But, this could likely have been avoided if the school was a hard target, instead of the insecure shooting gallery that it actually was. Even in the movie Minority Report incarceration for potential future crimes did not work very well.

          Barry in reply to Mac45. | February 16, 2018 at 11:37 pm

          “Could the FBI have done more to identify Cruz? maybe.”

          Maybe? The FBI did nothing. There is no maybe about it. Anyone could have identified the kid. He used his own damn name.

The FBI couldn’t get more information from YouTube? Repeated comments under the same name mean he was using the same account, which means YouTube knew when and where he was making the comments. That could have put the FBI in touch with the local sherrif, who could have contacted the school.

it is complete & utter Bravo Sierra that the Fumbling Bozos of Incompetence had no way of tracking this sick freak down, even if he WASN’T using his real name.

between YT & his ISP, they would have been able to trace him all the way to his device, whether phone (most likely) or a PC.

they just either couldn’t be bothered, or, almost as likely, agree with the Deep State that mass shootings are a necessary part of a plan to eventually disarm the citizens of this country, whom they despise & wish to subjugate.

“Nikolas” has kind of a sorta Russian flavor to it. FBI should have been all over that.

Sounds like we needed Cruz control more than gun control.

Well, if I was Deep State I would recognize the 2nd Ammendment is a huge obstacle.

We are assuming FBI incompetence in the part of a highly intelligent and competent crowd.

So we should at least consider that agents brought this to the attention of some Hail Hydra goon who decided it just leave Nikolas Cruz alone to simmer.

A year ago I would have considered that crazy talk, but I was naive.

Guarantee you that if I made 6 threats against the Chamber of Commerce I would get 3 FBI shadows and 6 FBI undercover agents each trying to get me to buy a rocket launcher from them.

    Valerie in reply to Fen. | February 15, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    You are a grownup. I wonder if that’s the difference.

      Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | February 15, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      No. He really is NOT a grown-up. He’s a tiny lil’ moral coward who fantasizes about killing people he hates.

        Oh go away you petty little cuck.

        I am a United States Marine. I led LAV-25s through minefields in Somalia. And risked my life daily to save kids I didn’t know from starving to death. Go back to your bottle little man.

        As for Valerie’ s comment, as the majority of school shooters are minors, it doesn’t follow that the FBI would blow off their threats to kill classmates because they are kids.

        The FBI is smarter than that. And they likely already know that the most dangerous creature in the 3rd world is a 14 year old with an Uzi – because he believes he is immortal. I doubt they would disregard that fact when dealing with juvenile crime. Even if they’ve never experienced the 3rd World, they are VERY familiar with gang shooting by juveniles in cities like Detroit and Los Angeles.

        “He’s a tiny lil’ moral coward who fantasizes about killing people he hates…..”

        Read, and get to know yourself:

        Psychological projection

I think I posted this already in another thread, but it is so important, I am going to repeat myself at the risk of being boring.

I really like the analogy of treating the threat of mass shootings in our schools the same as the threat of fires. Why? Because we have figured out how to prevent the death of schoolchildren by fire. As the article says, the first step is to get out of denial, and recognize that these things will happen. The second step is to find out every possible way to minimize the occurrences, and the consequences of any occurrences.

There were lots of red flags ahead of this horrible crime. We need to learn from it.

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial — Preventing juvenile mass murder in American schools is the job of police officers, school teachers, and concerned parents May 5, 2010

The IP (Internet Protocol) system does not leave a trail of bread crumbs to a suspicious person’s computer. It leads to his ISP (Internet Service Provider) and then stops. So … maybe YouTube’s server logs can tell them that a message was posted by, say, a Verizon customer. That doesn’t narrow it down all that much. It seems to be able to narrow it down geographically to about half a state.

Right now my IP address puts me about fifteen miles south of where I’m actually located. Google Maps is closer; it has me on the right street, but at the wrong house.

It’s not all that obvious that FBI bungled an easy job here.

    Exiliado in reply to tom_swift. | February 15, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    That is not exactly true, and in most cases the ISP does have the resources to pinpoint the exact device behind an IP address.

    “It’s not all that obvious that FBI bungled an easy job here.”

    Yes it is. If you do not understand the capability of the FBI to track down a user by the IP address, probably best to stay quiet. A very sophisticated user could mask it, but not the usually crazies.

    And of course, when one uses his own name…

Not true. My Google account was hacked last month. Google alerted me to the ISP and cell tower the hack originated from , to ask if it was me.

They narrowed the hackers home address to within 6 city blocks in Baltimore Maryland. I know because I knew the guy and where he actually lived.

And this was civilian tracing, not government.

Inspector Cleauseau could have caught hillary klinton by now, and the FBI cant catch her. How are they gonna catch the next Cruz?

It’s hard to believe that the FBI couldn’t find a person who uses his real name. Occam’s razor much?

This also does not reflect well on the “mental health” professionals. Clearly he had problems, and should have seen some sort of psychologist during the expulsion process. Was there something they couldn’t see, or just didn’t care? Either case is unacceptable. I suspect that the “shrinks” cannot do what they are supposed to do, and are mostly faking it.

Such a clearly troubled person, passes a background check, purchases a firearm legally and some people are calling for more gun laws. We should try to enforce the ones we have now. What law would have kept this person from buying a gun? Too much emotion involved by people wanting to “do something”. Even if is wrong.

    MarkS in reply to Romey. | February 16, 2018 at 7:32 am

    I would imagine that if one posted anywhere on the internet that they wanted to be the “first Special Counsel shooter” the FBI would find a way to locate that individual. It not that the FBI couldn’t, it that its agents were too busy texting, screwing and looking for Russian dressing on the salads at Trump Tower

Liberal progressive infested school and university instructors and administrators should be replaced with constitutional conservative gun owning instructors and administrators, watch what happens.

Gun free zones are killing fields.

Deep state push to disarm law abiding US citizens

So we’re all watching >MSM< to get the truth? And even Jimmy Kimmel is pleading to have our guns taken away from us.

Three Students have testified there were multiple shooters, yet no mainstream media outlet has picked it up. (I wonder why??)

"Student says multiple shooters were involved blocking the only two exits from each side of the building."

"Another student, named Kenneth Anthony confirms the first eyewitness account mentioning multiple shooters …"

"Alexa confirmed there were multiple shooters …"

Looks like Florida school shooting was planned, news articles days BEFORE the incident

Minute 19:00:
Lt. Col. Roy Potter (retired)

"… on a crime scene, of a mass shooting, a mass murder, they're bringing stuff out of the school and putting in the back of this pickup, that's obstruction of justice, at the very least and most likely a cover up by the deep state again. This was a team shooting."


The students knew,not so much for the federal bureau of incompetence or is that incineration.

regulus arcturus | February 16, 2018 at 10:46 am

I’m changing all of my online IDs to my real name to fool FBI.