On Thursday's The Lead, CNN analyst Tom Fuentes was unwilling to conclude that the perpetrator of a mass shooting against servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee was Muslim. John Berman asked the former FBI assistant director, "Now that we have the name [Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez], the key questions are what?" Fuentes replied, "I know...what the name sounds like, but we don't know that it's a Muslim name. We know it's an Arabic name. We don't know what this individual was believing in, and that's what they're going to be trying to determine." [video below]
Minutes earlier, Berman brought on Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of homeland security, and made a much more conclusive statement: "I got to state the obvious here...this is a Muslim name, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez." Kayyem, who is of Lebanese Christian descent, confirmed that this was the case, and provided some background:
JOHN BERMAN: I want to bring in our security analysts: Juliette Kayyem, a homeland security analyst; former Massachusetts homeland security advisor; and federal homeland security advisor – Harry Houck, former cop, security advisor to us as well – CNN analyst. I got to state the obvious here: this is a name – this is a Muslim name, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez-
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASST. SECY., DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Yes-
BERMAN: Does that change the nature of this investigation?
KAYYEM: Well, change – we just don't know where it began, so 'change' is a strong word. It does, obviously, make people concerned – both about other domestic ties – are there others that he was affiliated with? And then, of course international ones.
Now, I should say, just from my knowledge of this: 'Youssef' is a common Egyptian – excuse me, Iraqi or Kuwaiti name – so, just something for people to know. And so, this will now require not just the FBI's domestic case; but obviously now, the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies.
It should be pointed out that Iraq is 99 percent Muslim, and Kuwait is 76.7 percent Muslim, according to the CIA's World Factboook.