Multiple intelligence agencies both in the U.S. and Britain had the Manchester suicide bomber on their radar before the attack Monday night. Many are asking why authorities had to wait until 22 were dead to act.
Salman Abedi made several trips to Libya to visit family and may have recently traveled to Syria, according to British intelligence. They were keeping an eye on the recently radicalized 22-year-old, but didn't act until it was too late. It's a common story.
News report following the terror attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (June 2016): "Omar Mateen had been contacted by U.S. law enforcement at least twice in recent years."
News report following the terror bombing at the Boston Marathon (April 2013): "It turns out both the FBI and the CIA were contacted by Russian officials on separate occasions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev as early as 2011."
News report following the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas (November 2009): "The contacts began last winter with [Army Major Nidal] Hasan reaching out to Imam Anwar al-Awlaki .... Sources say intelligence agencies collected the messages as part of a separate case and attached no significance to them at the time."
ACLJ attorney Jordan Sekulow says authorities can – and should – act sooner. "The plotting, putting together, the conspiring – all of that is enough to apprehend, arrest, charge and put [a person] in jail for a long period of time," he tells OneNewsNow.
And while there may be legitimate civil liberties concerns should law enforcement get too aggressive, Sekulow says that's a long way off.
"It doesn't seem like they're getting to the people who are rightly identified," he says. "So are we that concerned with the people who are wrongly identified?"
He says the American Center for Law and Justice is working on exactly how a legal crackdown would work. "It's the way you enforce existing laws. [We should be] treating these terrorist cells like gangs," he suggests. "We see sweeping arrests of those gang members pretty regularly in the U.S."
Prompting the attorney to ask: "Why are we not seeing sweeping arrests of cell members?"