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

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

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

JANUARY 27, 2017

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.


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