Navy SEAL Slams CNN Expert’s Premature Conclusion CA Shooters Are from ‘Anti-Government’ Group

During CNN’s live coverage on Wednesday of the tragic shooting in San Bernardino, California, CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes surmised with “no information” to back himself up that it was likely “an anti-government domestic militia group” that carried out the attack.

Just over 20 minutes later, however, former FBI Special Agent and Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam joined the conversation and denounced Fuentes for jumping to conclusions so early because he doesn’t “like to use the word militia or any other term right now because I just don't want people specifically looking for specific people.”

Asked for his early thoughts on the attack by host Jake Tapper, the former FBI official in Fuentes commented that he was struck by how “you have multiple people in some type of tactical gear, military style gear with long weapons, military-style type assault rifles going into a facility and attacking a government function.”

With that in mind, Fuentes extrapolated that:

If it's county employees having some type of a banquet there, that takes on more of a domestic militia group, an anti-government domestic militia group wanting to attack the government than it does international terrorism where they're usually on suicide mission.

Immediately after Fuentes concluded his point, Tapper interjected to make clear that Fuentes made his statement “[b]ased on no information” that was definitive at the time.

When Gilliam came on the set, he emphasized the importance of law enforcement obtaining any and all security footage from inside the building(s) where the incident was occurring so they could best respond, but then took a few moments to express his firm disagreement with Fuentes:

I just — I have to say when I'm looking at this I know that Mr. Fuentes has years and years of experience, I don't like to use the word militia or any other term right now because I just don't want people specifically looking for specific people[.]

The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper on December 2 can be found below.

CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper
December 2, 2015
4:17 p.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: Tom, what strikes you about this? I mean, I think there's so many — obviously we see too many of these mass shootings all the time in this country and they're all horrifying in their own way, but this one is so at least right now wrapped in such a shroud of mystery in terms of what happened in the fact it does seem so professional. 

TOM FEUNTES: Well, what strikes me, Jake, is you have multiple people in some type of tactical gear, military style gear with long weapons, military-style type assault rifles going into a facility and attacking a government function. If it's county employees having some type of a banquet there, that takes on more of a domestic militia group, an anti-government domestic militia group wanting to attack the government than it does international terrorism where they're usually on suicide mission. And it's separate because of the multiple people that it would be hard to have three psychotic individuals simultaneously coordinate this attack like you have in many of these other shooting situations. So to me this takes on some type of a planned attack with multiple people that don't like the government and that sounds more like some type of militia group. 

TAPPER: Some sort of militia-group — based on the very, very early information we have. 

FUENTES: Based on no information. 

TAPPER: Based on no information.

(....)

4:38 p.m. Eastern

JONATHAN GILLIAM: The easier it is which we saw in the recent shooting at the Planned Parenthood, the security firm there had videotapes, realtime video, so they could actually see who the shooter was. In this kind of a scenario it's good to get to those videos as quickly as possible to pull them because we are — you see, Jake, when you have a facility that you rent out, you were actually inviting a soft target to your location. Different groups have different people that don't like them and as they move in to that theater, now you may potentially have an outside threat that is now targeting your facility and I just — I have to say when I'm looking at this I know that Mr. Fuentes has years and years of experience, I don't like to use the word militia or any other term right now because I just don't want people specifically looking for specific people, but I do think that fire alarm, the fact that it was pulled was one of two things. It was either somebody panicking and trying to get authorities there or that was a way for attackers to get people out of that building so they could attack them on the outside. So, I think law enforcement is taking all these different things into account right now and this is still a very, very fluid situation. 

NB Daily Crime Culture/Society Media Bias Debate Labeling Conservatives & Republicans CNN The Lead Video Government & Press Tom Fuentes Jake Tapper
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