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Kelly File

Is the White House willfully misidentifying terror threats?; Muslim community leader falsely identified as terror threat

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," December 11, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS HOST:  Breaking tonight, investigators now suggesting the San Bernardino killers were in the final stages of plotting an additional attack.  On a target where the death toll could have been much, much higher.  

Welcome to "The Kelly File," I'm Shannon Bream in for Megyn Kelly.  Digital equipment found at the home of the San Bernardino killers now leading investigators to believe that the couple may have been looking to execute an even larger assault possibly on a nearby school or a college.  And while it's unclear what kind of evidence they're looking at, we've already heard reports that Farook had pictures of local schools on his cellphone like this one that he was visiting in his capacity as a county health inspector in the weeks and months before the attack.  

Another missing link in the evidence chain.  A computer hard drive that investigators believe the couple may have ditch in a like near the crime scene, a lake where FBI divers were out combing for a second day today and where they are expected to searching for several days to come.  There are growing concerns over this couple's connections to terrorists who have been caught by authorities and the fact that they were not on anyone's radar apparently until they succeeded nine days ago.  

Jonathan Hunt is live in San Bernardino with more.  Jonathan.

JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CHIEF CORRESPONDENT:  Shannon, FBI divers spent another seven hours or so in the lake behind me here in San Bernardino today looking apparently for that hard drive or indeed any other evidence that maybe connected to last week's terrible attack.  It is a long painstaking difficult process going through this lake.  The divers are having to do it by hand entirely.  They tell us they are completely blind in the waters.  The dark murky waters of this lake.  So, they dig through several inches of mud at the bottom inch by inch looking for any trace they can of any evidence that might be useful to them.  

The FBI seemed to be confident of the lead that lead them here.  And they seemed to be determine to stay until they find what they are looking for.  Separately they are saying they are combing through all the connections.  In particular connections that Syed Farook and his former neighbor Enrique Marquez may have tour a man called Sahil Kabir.  Now, Kabir was convicted back in 2014 of conspiring to support terrorism and kill Americans overseas.  He was arrested along with three others who are also convicted but arrested back in 2012.  Why is that important?

Well, Farook and Marquez according to officials may have been plotting an attack back in 2012, and may have canceled their plans because they were spooked by the arrest of Kabir and others.  So, FBI officials want to know, did any of these men move in the same social circles?  They're looking for instance at the mosque they went to.  Kabir worship to the mosque in Pomona.  That's not far from the attack site of last week.  Farook worshipped at a mosque in Riverside, again not far away.  Marquez at a mosque in Corona.  And we also know from court documents that Kabir met with potential and actual recruits for his terrorist plot at a Hookah Bar called a Velvet Room in nearby Ontario.  

You triangulate all of those points of interests, they're all within about 30 minutes of each other.  Now, does that prove anything in and of itself?  No, it does not.  But the FBI said they would be completely re- missed if they did not chase down any potential connection particularly Shannon, given what we're talking about here, Sahil Kabir who was convicted as I say of terrorists offenses in 2014 -- Shannon.  

BREAM:  All right, Jonathan.  Thank you very much for getting us up to date.  

HUNT:  Sure.

BREAM:  Well, Farook's connections to that al Qaeda recruiter are just one of several warning signs that appear to have been missed ahead of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.  From the discussions of jihad and martyrdom the couple were apparently having two years ago to the messages sent to other radicals in the month before the attacks.  All this as we hear reports tonight that investigators have found, quote, "levels of built-in encryption" on the shooter's phone.  Led to a growing sense that San Bernardino represents a major failure on the part of U.S. Intelligence.  Especially since the director of the FBI warned Congress of this very issue just months ago.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR:  ISIL is reaching out primarily through Twitter to about 21,000 now in English language followers.  We can see twitter.  We will see them, give them directions to a mobile messaging app that is end to end encrypted and tell them to contact me here and they disappear.  So, I have investigations in all 50 states of people who are consuming this stuff.  We are stopping these things so far through tremendous hard work.  I cannot see me stopping these indefinitely.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  Michael Balboni is a former New York State Homeland Security director and he wrote nearly all of New York's major homeland security laws right after 9/11.  Joshua Katz is a former CIA operations officer specializing in Homeland Security and Intel.  Both join me now.  Gentlemen, thank you for your time.  

MICHAEL BALBONI, FORMER NEW YORK STATE HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR:  Thank you.  

BREAM:  All right.  Josh, I want to start with you, where in your opinion does the blame lie?

JOSHUA KATZ, FORMER CIA OPERATIONS OFFICER:  Well, I think the blame lies clearly with the administration.  This is an incredible policy failure.  And it's coupled with the fact that Congress has not allocated the right resources and really curved the administration, really destroying our human intelligence capability and really putting all the money in the technical side that technical side, yes, it needs to go forward, it needs to be funded.  But eroding and destroying our human capability here is absolutely a disaster.  

BREAM:  Well, Michael.  I mean, you know different things that have to be balanced here.  I mean, you wrote a lot of legislation that has been a model across the country.  You know that, you know, of course Americans want to feel safe and they want to feel like the FBI and other Intel agencies have what they need to go after quote-unquote, "bad guys."  But at the same time there are privacy concerns that are very legitimate for law- abiding citizen.  

BALBONI:  So we just -- this country has just faced the whole issue of the Snowden leaks.  And we came back and we said we cannot have our society monitored like this.  And now we have this situation plus the Paris attacks which indicate that there is a lot of stuff going on below the surface that American's and intelligence agencies are not aware of.  What is so chilling about this is here is an individual that worked for the government.  Had the opportunity to go and conduct preoperational surveillance, possibly, through his job.  

And then was able to put together amass these rounds of ammunition, the pipes, the materials to be able to make devices and do so under the noses of everybody.  And yes, we can assume that he wanted to go and have other attacks because they meant to escape.  The masks, the getaway car, the vests, they meant to survive this and then go back and then you can only guess where they were going to go next.  A huge concern for us because this is so hard to spot.  

BREAM:  Yes, and Joshua, I mean, you think about the masks, the body armor, the bombs that allegedly were being built and constructed.  And it does sound like there were other things that were in the planning, why this particular attack happened at the time it did.  What else was planned we are still waiting to find out.  In the meantime there are many checklists that agencies will say there were interviews.  There were checks for the fiancé visa for the wife.  I mean, there were all kinds of things that allowed them to operate and do these things without any suspicion.  

But you mentioned the human element.  And we have heard from the neighbor who said one of the other neighbors was worried about something but was afraid of being branded as a racist or a bigot and very afraid to say anything.  It is a volatile situation right now for making the wrong statement for stepping over a line for offending.  How in the world do we get people to come forward and give us information whether it turns out to be valid or not without the fear that they're going to turn into being the accused instead of the accuser.  

KATZ:  Absolutely.  And that's the point here and I think the President's words the other night feed into that and feed into that in such a harmful way because people are afraid of offending.  In reality, we all have to say something.  When we see something that is just out of the ordinary or we see -- even with a family member or a friend when their personality changes, when they start shifting, we need to say something, we need to notify authorities.  And the administration and law enforcement cannot prosecute people for doing that.  We have to get over that and we have to be encouraged by leadership.  By true leadership to get over this politically correct obstacle that's really destroying counterterrorism.  

BREAM:  Michael, you've mentioned something called the link analysis chart.  Part of what happens now investigating this crime.  Tell us what that is.  What does it mean?

BALBONI:  So, essentially what you do is you start from the actor and you then take a look at all the associations and you begin to make a big graph where you illustrate the different relationships and then you move off them.  It's almost like a chart you do for genealogy to find out where your descendants are.  And so that's what's really happening now.  But they're also doing it not just in terms of the associations but also digitally where they are going to take a look at who were they speaking to and what types of messaging were there?

Absolutely essential.  And one of the parts Shannon that is again very chilling is, these were hardened operatives.  I mean, to leave your six month old and then go out and do this to a soft target like this without any remorse and ruthlessly indicates that these folks are really hardened.  So, it's not just about the ability to amass these weapons and this capability but then also to have this kind of intense radicalization.  How did that happen and nobody picked it up?

BREAM:  Yes.  Well, a little bit of good news is that if they do recover possibly a hard drive or some other material in that search at the lake that Jonathan was talking about, we're told by experts that good chance they could recover some material there as well.  So, we will stay tuned for that.  Michael and Joshua, thank you both for being with us.  

BALBONI:  Thank you.  

KATZ:  Thank you.  

BREAM:  All right.  Breaking tonight, we are getting new details from the former roommate of a Muslim man who went on a stabbing spree in California last month.  We're going to show you the new information leading some to question why that crime is not being called terrorism.  

Plus, as critics call in the Muslim community to do more to combat radical Islam following the San Bernardino terror shooting.  The president of a Muslim organization leads by example after being wrongfully accused of having some links to terror.  He is going to join us live.  

And the Obama administration is sticking to one refrain on the terror attack in California.  Chris Stirewalt and Howie Kurtz are here on messaging at the White House.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, D-UNITED STATES:  So far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM:  Breaking tonight, frightening new details from the former roommate of a Muslim man who went on a stabbing spree in California.  On November 4th, Faisal Mohammad attacked four people on his college campus.  That is month before the terror attacks in San Bernardino.  Now we're learning more about his possible motivation and there are new calls to label this an act of terrorism.  

Trace Gallagher is reporting live from our West Coast Newsroom.  Hi, Trace.  

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Shannon, the FBI still won't comment about the motive behind the attacks last month at UC Merced.  But as the evidence piles up this appears to many to be more than a grudge over being kicked out of a study hall.  Just prior to 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad stabbing and wounding four people and being shot and killed by campus police, Mohammad was seen by his roommate sitting on the edge of his dorm room bed staring out the window with the hood of his sweater pulled over his head.  

The roommate who was also Muslim calls Faisal Mohammad a Muslim extremist.  Saying he was quote out there and that he once threatened to kill someone for touching his prayer mat.  The search warrant is also very telling about Mohammad's mindset among the items recovered by police a picture of an ISIS flag.  A handwritten manifesto containing names of his targets.  A vow to cut off someone's head and several reminders to praise Allah.  Investigators also found a copy of the Koran, a head covering similar to a ski mask.  

Packaging for a knife and sharpener, a survival kit package and two containers of petroleum jelly that he planned to use to create a slippery surface for police so he could take their guns and go to a dorm to kill others.  Before campus police shot and killed Faisal Mohammad, a construction worker helped stop the attack and has been hailed as a hero.  That construction worker's father now tells Fox News, quote, "Why don't we just call it what it is?  Domestic terrorism" -- Shannon.  

BREAM:  All right.  Trace.  Also breaking tonight.  The FBI is questioning a growing network of people linked to the San Bernardino terrorists.  As we hear Syed Farook used his friend Enrique Marquez to purchase the rifles used in the attack because Syed probably didn't want to stir up suspicion.  Meanwhile, as the investigation grows, the Obama administration is stressing that the terrorists have not yet been connected to any larger group.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  So far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.  

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL:  At this point, we do not have any evidence that they were part of either a larger group or a cell or that they were planning anything else.  

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  They have not determined that either of these individuals were part of a network or cell inside the United States.  And were not part of A, at least thus far, were in the determined to have been directed by specifically by any sort of overseas extremists terrorist organization.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  Chris Stirewalt is Fox News' digital politics editor and Howie Kurtz is the host of "MediaBuzz."  Great to see you both.  

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR:  Hi, Shannon.  

HOWIE KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST, "MEDIABUZZ":  Hi, Shannon.  

BREAM:  All right.  So, how much is this about Chris, I'll start with you.  Trying to walk this fine line of not sort of inciting the public.  There has been talk about a backlash against innocent Muslims here in America.  How much of this is the administration trying to do that keeping calm while they figure this out?

STIREWALT:  Look, you remember the allegations recently of doctored intelligence to try to make a fight against ISIS look better or that it wasn't going as badly as it was.  There is often pressure, whatever that case turns out to be.  There is often pressure from politicians and government entities to make themselves look better.  So, I certainly believe that part of the soft cell here on what's going on ask is self- interested on the behalf of the President and the administration because obviously the system failed.  So there you have that.  Now, to give them the benefit of the doubt, sure, part of a leader's job is to say don't panic, don't panic, don't panic.  But in this case, if you soft sell it so much that people don't think you are alarmed, that people don't think you are serious, that opens the door for crazy stuff because you actually insight panic because people don't think that you are getting it.  

BREAM:  Or that they're getting the whole truth, Howie.  I mean, there's growing divide between the FBI director and what we are hearing out of the White House.  There seems to be a contrast in their messaging and people wonder who to believe.  

KURTZ:  It's really striking contrast.  I understand the administration walking a fine line and not wanting to overstate the evidence it has tying the San Bernardino killers to ISIS although they certainly are growing signs that there is something there.  But it's no secret that the mainstream press is disappointed in President Obama in both the rhetorical front and on the military front and even Liberals in the media like veteran "The Washington Post" columnist Richard Cohen saying, he has run out of eloquence because he often has nothing to say.  At the same time I have to say, the President needs to hold the Republicans accountable on this, too, why hasn't Congress moved quickly to approve the President's request for war authority against ISIS?  

BREAM:  Yes.  I mean, Chris, that's an important point.  I mean, there has been a back and forth on exactly what it would consist of and, you know, someone on the hill saying, we are waiting to get, you know, a clear strategy from them about something we can vote on.  You know was there blame to go around there as well?

STIREWALT:  Well, the Republicans if the president brought a declaration of war against ISIS.  If he brought a resolution for unrestrained total war against ISIS, every Republican in Congress pretty well save some libertarian leaning hold out would vote for it in a heartbeat.  The conflict here is the President wants Congress to tie his hand.  He wants them to be politically culpable number one, to share the blame with him for the strategy.  And number two, have an authorization for the use of military force that intentionally constrains him.  It can only go this long.  It goes here.  It goes the other way.  He already has the legal authorization to kill people over there.  He is legally cleared to go.  This is a political document and this is a waste of time.  This is a discussion that does not matter.  

BREAM:  Well, and the discussion that we are having about, all of these topics is also is also couched in the fact that the head of the DOJ, the Attorney General Loretta Lynch who is a top cop in this country made some statements about that they would go after people if they were inciting violence by using specific language.  That it was time to, you know, crack down on anti-Muslim rhetoric and there are some people who, you know, that got a lot of attention.  That kind of raised some eyebrows when people are saying listen we have major issues to worry about.  Now, we are worrying about them coming after speech.  She did clarify later saying, we will prosecute deeds not words.  But it is out there, Howard.  And people worry about how they can have these conversations honestly.  

KURTZ:  Well, in terms of the language and the emphasis.  It does seem the Obama administration understandably is concerned about any discrimination or inciting violence against Muslims.  It doesn't quite place the same emphasis on declaring war on Islamic terrorism.  And so, you had the President doing several do-overs.  Widely panned by the press.  Culminating in that standing up in the oval office speech in which he doesn't quite use the language of war.  He seems a reluctant commander-in- chief on this.  And in terms of the language he is still talking about San Bernardino by using phrases like gun violence.  They had pipe bombs and lots of ammunition stockpiled.  This is more than a couple of crazy people with guns.  And here is Comey, FBI Director Comey early on saying this was a terrorist attack and I think most people agree with that and don't understand why the president is holding back.  

BREAM:  Well, and Chris, there have been whispers that, you know, there were some attempts maybe to sort of reign Comey in or to make sure he didn't go too far with his statements.  But it seems like, you know, he has called it like he sees it regardless of what the administration's messaging may be.  

STIREWALT:  Well, remember how we met James Comey and that was when he kicked the stuffing out of the Bush administration for engaging in behavior that he thought was dis-patriotic, inappropriate, not right and it was Attorney General John Ashcroft who intervened to do -- when it came too harsh interrogation and other techniques.  Comey said that they were doing the wrong thing.  Ashcroft intervened.  Comey was the hero.  Liberals lionized him.  Now, he is kicking the stuffing out of the Democratic administration.  He's given them a hard time.  He is a dangerous man.  And he's looking like the stud duck in this whole thing.  Because he is the guy that people in Washington both parties now are listening to and following his lead.  

BREAM:  And they're both listening to you guys, too.  Chris and Howie, thank you very much.  Good to see you.  

STIREWALT:  You bet.  

KURTZ:  Thanks, Shannon.  

BREAM:  All right.  After the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, President Obama wants to take urgent executive action on gun control.  Will that do anything to prevent another San Bernardino?  We're going to debate that.  

Plus, new concerns about Syrian refugees entering our country as we're learning more about the questionable screening process that lead one of the San Bernardino terrorists into this country on a visa last year.  

And as lawmakers struggle to get answers from officials overseeing or screening program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It's a terrible tragedy, terrible terrorist attacks and we are talking about the refugee issue and the visa waiver program issue and you can't give us any numbers on either program?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  Breaking tonight, new concerns about Syrian refugees entering our country as law enforcement sources confirm to Fox News that ISIS may have the ability to manufacture fraudulent Syrian passports.  That startling assessment coming from a recent homeland security investigation's intelligence report.  Studying ISIS's control over two key cities with passport offices.  This comes on the heels of new questions about the lack screening process San Bernardino terrorist Tashfeen Malik underwent as she entered this country on a fiancé visa just last year.  And if you were looking to get answers from the government tasked with keeping us safe, you may be out of luck.  Watch this as Congressman Jim Jordan struggled yesterday to get answers from a senior DHS official who is tasked with coordinating our screening program.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO:  How many Syrian refugees have entered the United States in the last year?

KELLI ANN BURRIESCI, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY SCREENING COORDINATION OFFICE OF POLICY DEPARTMENT HOMELAND SECURITY:  I'm sorry, I didn't bring any of my -- any of the refugee numbers with me because I was prepared to talk about visa waiver.  

JORDAN:  How many visa waiver program overstays are there currently in the United States?

BURRIESCI:  Sorry, I didn't bring that number with me.    

JORDAN:  Miss Burriesci, when I look at the witness list, you have got the longest title, Deputy Assistant Secretary Screening Coordination Office of Policy Department Homeland Security.  And the two biggest issue right now that we're dealing with throughout -- we had these terrible tragedies, terrible terrorist attacks and we're talking about the refugee issue and the visa waiver issue and you can't give us any numbers on either program?

BURRIESCI:  Sir, I came prepared to talk about the visa waiver program.  

JORDAN:  And I just asked you how many visa waiver program overstays are there, and you said you don't know.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  Joining me now Claude Arnold, former special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles.  Thank you for being with us tonight.  

CLAUDE ARNOLD, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT, ICE, LOS ANGELES:  Thank you for the invitation.  

BREAM:  Okay.  So, let's talk about this process.  Because we're told that Tashfeen Malik not only was interviewed but that she went through the vetting of five different agencies.  But we are also learning that she possibly gave a completely fake address on her application from Pakistan.  Where does this break down?  Because there are thousands of people making the same track every year.  

ARNOLD:  Yes.  The problem with the K-1 visa process is the decisions on whether to approve them are just based merely on the information provided from the person applying for the visa.  

BREAM:  Well, yes, we'd see these forms that say, ask the questions, are you a terrorist?  Do you plan to do any terrorist activity in the U.S.?  Do you plan to support any terrorist activity?  I mean, what terrorist is ever, one percent, one person going to stay yes to that.  I mean, how can we say that's an effective screening tool?

ARNOLD:  Yes.  Of course.  So, the only way you can screen these people is, if you have intelligence on them.  Derogatory information.  And the bottom-line is, if we are not collecting that intelligence, we don't have anything on that people -- person if they have had no history or no suspicious travel patterns or they haven't been on anyone's intelligence radar screen, then we don't know they are a bad actor.  

BREAM:  So, at what point do we say listen, we need to have more thorough vetting.  We know there aren't resources to do in-depth vetting and investigation on every single person who applies to come here.  Where do we draw the line to say we can only handle this many applicants and truly vet them and truly check them out?  And until we can handle that amount of traffic, we're not going beyond that point.  

ARNOLD:  Yes.  That's true.  But the problem with like, for example ever the K-1 visa program and the refugee program is the information that is being vetted is only the information that is being provided by the applicant.  There really isn't much other vetting you could do.  Particularly the problem with women coming from Middle Eastern countries.  They don't have a lot of records on them.  You know, they don't -- they are not out in society a lot.  There is not a lot of information about them.  So, we would really need to employ some other type of vetting technique.  Perhaps institute polygraph examinations of certain people who meet a certain criteria.  Something to that effect to further vet them.  Because just depending on the information that they provide isn't going to do it.  

BREAM:  Yes.  And caught up in this as well are innocent people.  I mean, people who are desperate who have, you know, their heads marked for death if they stay where they are.  We think about religious minorities that include some Muslims, that include Yazidis, that include Christians who are desperate to get away from these people who are killing them. And they often are caught up with the same problems without documentation, without, you know, things that would speak to their innocence and speak on their behalf as well. Claude Arnold, thank you very much for some insights on this tricky situation.

ARNOLD: Thank you. Thank you.

BREAM: All right, Breaking Tonight. Terror is now the concern that concerns Americans most is the number one issue, and after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, and the security system that allowed Tashfeen Malik into the U.S. The 2016 candidates are taking note, hitting the trail with their plans to take on terrorism, defeat ISIS and protect the Homeland. So who will fair best at the GOP debate in just four days? Rich Lowry and Alan Colmes are here for fair and balanced debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCO RUBIO, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ISIS cannot be defeated simply with air strikes. In fact, no war can simply be won with air strikes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: Breaking Tonight. Terrorism shoots to the top of the polls. It is now the problem facing our country that Americans care most about. Terrorism is pushed down the economy. Way down the list is the top issue and the 2016 field has taken note. In the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, candidates are racing to show voters that they are the ones to be the best choice for commander-in-chief when it comes to America's security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Have a plan to keep us safe here at home and we must deny the territory abroad. We must make sure that our investigating teams have access to every single piece of information they need.

RUBIO: ISIS cannot be defeated simply with air strikes. In fact, no war can simply be won with air strikes. They are going to have to be confronted on the ground and we are going to have to participate. Now the bulk of that force is going to have to be local forces.

JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Islamic terrorist has to be written up for the world to get to other issues. And our country is not gonna (inaudible) as we have a set of common practices to be able to (inaudible).

TED CRUZ, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need more clarity that starts with defining the enemy. Americans no long feel safe in their schools, their workplaces, their cities. This should not be the new standard.

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to defeat the terrorist threat from ISIS. We have to work with the rest of the world to do that. We have to fight them in the air, fight them on ground and fight them online.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: Here tonight, Rich Lowry, Fox News contributor and editor of National Review and Alan Colmes, you know you'll love him. Host to "The Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News.

ALAN COLMES, "THE ALAN COLMES SHOW" HOST: Don't get carried away.

BREAM: Why, why are you laughing?

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: I just try to give a nice intro and everyone in the studio is laughing about that. We do love you. OK, but listen. Have the president and his perceived weakness on this issue created an opening for 2016 GOP candidates to talk tough?

COLMES: Well, the key word is perceived weakness. I don't see it as a real weakness. And generally, when there is terror attack and if there are more of these horrific events, it tends to help from a purely pundit standpoint -- Republicans, not that it should, but it does. And of course, they can use that to say look, he is the guy, he's in office, look what has happened on his watch, and that will be the argument that meant.

BREAM: Well, OK, 57 percent of Americans in the CBS/New York Times poll, you may familiar with The New York Times, not especially conservative.

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: Fifty-seven percent of the Americans disapprove the way that President Obama is handling terrorism, they (inaudible).

COLMES: They say that because we are on the heels of some attacks. And when that happened, that's what's gonna happened. That doesn't mean what's gonna happened in the voting booth, nine months from now. If there are additional attacks it's -- it's likely to help the Democratic nominee more than it's going to help the Republican nominee. But you know, look at the things you are saying. Ted Cruz, come up in the polls, says he wants to make the sand glow in the Middle East. Maybe that resonates with people. Maybe Donald Trump is not going to bomb the blank out.

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR: It does.

BREAM: Yeah, I think a lot of people.

LOWRY: It just resonate the people.

BREAM: Yeah.

COLMES: That's not a military strategy.

BREAM: Well.

COLMES: That doesn't tell us anything.

BREAM: People, people.

LOWRY: I think what happened here is.

BREAM: People are craving leadership, and they want, they want to hear tough talk.

LOWRY: Absolutely.

BREAM: I mean another one of these polls, it showed 71 percent -- same poll, 71 percent, these are likely GOP primary voters. So people who are really say they are going to get out and vote the primaries. Seventy one percent said they feel Donald Trump can handle the terror threat. They're most confident in him.

LOWRY: The most important quality that Donald Trump projects is strength. And he projects that, and because of that people trust him on almost every single issue whether it's terrorism or with the economy. And when it comes to ISIS, the extraordinary thing when Barack Obama was elected, it seems as though the historic shift in reversal, it happened where Democrats were more trusted on national security than Republicans. That eroded steadily over time and now has been completely lost. His ratings among the public on terrorism in general and ISIS in particular are horrific.

COLMES: It is where we have to remind him on what happened.

LOWRY: And we don't have to worry that's gonna.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: The last time we had Republicans started wars we shouldn't have been fighting, created a worst situation.

LOWRY: Like the situation like Afghanistan.

COLMES: ISIS has been outgrowth -- ISIS is we know is an outgrowth of the Iraq invasion, and we believe to be remind of that.

BREAM: So bottom line is for you is George W. Bush is responsible for ISIS?

COLMES: I didn't make that.

BREAM: I just want to crystallize.

COLMES: At to some extent, that's true. The Iraq war led to the rise of al-Qaeda Iraq, which led to.

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: Why is that?

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: It is defeated in 2008 and 2009, and the president of the United States withdrew willfully and left a vacuum.

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: No.

LOWRY: It's absolutely is.

BREAM: OK, but.

COLMES: He went out on Bush's timeline.

LOWRY: War head basically (inaudible).

BREAM: What? No, no, no.

COLMES: He got out of Iraq on Bush's timeline.

LOWRY: Well, Bush assumed there would be another president who would be responsible enough not to totally withdraw our troops.

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: And now Democrats.

BREAM: OK.

LOWRY: Try to blame Bush for it, but Obama bragged about it.

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: When Obama left, he bragged at it.

BREAM: And to the past, let's get in our time machine, go to the future.

COLMES: No.

BREAM: What about the fact that there were intelligence reports that were warning about the growth of ISIS that it wasn't JV that it was a serious threat that we've heard across the board and that this administration didn't take it seriously? Hillary Clinton was part of this duration. There are now growing concerns about Libya and other things she was involved with. So how does that.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, she is not going to say.

BREAM: What do you mean if?

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: I know. I'm just saying are you looking for Bernie?

LOWRY: He's not giving up for the Sanders dreams.

BREAM: OK.

BREAM: We're giving Bernie a credit.

COLMES: If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, she can differentiate herself from Barack Obama. She's not the walk-in lock step.

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: She was the secretary of state.

LOWRY: Secretary of State.

COLMES: She wasn't making.

BREAM: And a lot of us are going down.

COLMES: Whether or not you agree with Barack Obama, I happen to agree with what he has done, but she was not the commander-in-chief making that policy.

LOWRY: Look.

COLMES: She worked for Barack Obama.

LOWRY: All over the disastrous reset with Russia. She was all on board, the withdrawal from Iraq, which has been catastrophic. And she was the architect of the leading from behind effort from Libya.

COLMES: She was not the president.

LOWRY: This is the first time as secretary of state will not be a benefit.

COLMES: Look, I'm.

BREAM: OK. Let's talk you a little bit, because we know that Trump is resonating with people and they like to hear him talk tough. But we got -- you know he's an outsider. He does not have military experience. He's not.

COLMES: He went to military school, come on. He said that he went to military school.

BREAM: OK. I will give you that.

COLMES: All right.

BREAM: Outside of that, though, he does not have the kind of experience that some others will argue that they do. Of course you gonna have Senator Rubio arguing that he has been for foreign policy that he is part of the Senate. He knows the briefing.

COLMES: When he shows up.

BREAM: OK, well, who else do you think have a chance to make the point.

COLMES: If he didn't support Obama, you know, when he left the Senate.

LOWRY: He actually left at work.

COLMES: No.

LOWRY: He actually went to work on a regular basis.

COLMES: I think he run.

LOWRY: Ted Cruz.

COLMES: And he's running for president.

BREAM: Well, and Kerry number is even worse.

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: Marco Rubio has the best defined and articulated strategy against ISIS of all these guys.

BREAM: All right, we're gonna.

COLMES: We just played the clip. We can't bomb them into oblivion. It's not gonna work.

BREAM: You got to leave it there.

LOWRY: Right. And you need some ground troops.

BREAM: OK, gentlemen. Thank you.

COLMES: Thank you.

LOWRY: Thank you very much.

BREAM: Good to see you both. All right, in the aftermath of San Bernardino, President Obama making a big good pushed for a gun control measures. Oh, I know Alan would like to stay and talk about that. But why isn't the White House talking about something that would have actually stops the San Bernardino attacks. Stick around.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: What could be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM:  Developing tonight, in the aftermath of the San Bernadino attacks, the worst terror attack on our soil since 9/11, President Obama has made a renewed push for one of his pet issues, gun control. Here is the president's Sunday night address to the nation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons, like the ones that were used in San Bernadino. I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures. But the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated buy ISIL or some other hateful ideology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  Comments like that have critics asking why focus on proposals that would not have stopped the San Bernadino attacks?  Nomiki Konst, founder and executive director of the Accountability Project, and Lars Larson is the host of the Lars Larson Show. Great to see you both.

NOMIKI KONST, FOUNDER THE ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT:  Hi.

LARS LARSON, LARS LARSON SHOW HOST:  Good to see you.

BREAM:  OK. Nomiki, I will start with you. The Washington Post did an extensive fact check on whether or not the things the president is proposing would have stopped any of the recent mass shootings. They said the rare Gipetto mark because the penalty of scale that it was actually true, that's a fact. How would you respond?

KONST:  Sure. Well, maybe not the last event -- not the last terrorist attack here in America but over 90 percent of terrorists -- potential terrorists on this watch list on this no fly list had purchased guns legally in this country. That's over 2,000 terrorists who have purchased guns in our country. And only that is the number of people on the watch list. Most of those are non-Americans. In fact, 98.5 percent of them are non-American. There are 40,000 people on this no fly list. You know, the list has gotten better and there's been a lot of criticism from the right saying that it was only exception as Ted Kennedy (ph). Well, guess what?  We've improved the list. We're constantly changing this list and we're using updated information from the FBI, the CIA, and our terrorism analytics to improve the list day by day.

BREAM:  All right. Lars, so what I'm hearing Nomiki say is that if you're on one of these lists, no due process for your constitutional rights if you happen to be American. You know, in this case is the Second Amendment, but what if it was First Amendment? What if it was another amendment?

LARSON:  That is the biggest -- that's the biggest issue is that there is no due process. The other people excluded from buying guns in America are felons and those committed to insane asylums. The problem is those have due process. If you are on the no fly list, there is no due process. Steve Hayes who appears frequently on Fox has been on the no fly list. So suggesting we restrict people who have had no due process and no opportunity from due process from buying guns is not going to stop crimes. The fact is California has some of the toughest gun laws in America. Killings happen there. Murders happen every weekend in Chicago with some of the toughest gun laws in America. The terrorist attack in Paris when gun laws are the kind of gun laws Obama dreams of imposing on America. New gun laws are not going to top terrorists and the terrorists should know that.

(CROSSTALK)

KONST:  Even of those who are -- you know, these are deliberate and created by the NRA. We know and we know for sure is that if we expand background checks whether on a no fly list or not, if we expand our background check beyond, you know, the gun show (ph) loophole then those people don't have access to guns.

BEAM:  OK. Wait a minute. OK. Wait. Let's talk about the so-called gun show loophole. I don't know if you have been to gun shows.

LARSON:  I have.

KONST:  I have in Arizona.

BREAM:  I've been to plenty of them and you can't just -- you can't just walk out -- it's a fallacy to be thinking that most of these booths(ph) -- these are federally licensed firearms dealers. They are not going to sell you a gun without a back ground check.

KONST:  The problem is it's happening more often than not.

(CROSSTALK)

LARSON:  And Nomiki -- Nomiki doesn't know what she is talking about. I live in the state of Washington. It has a -- the so-called gun show loop hole closed. Every single transaction of a gun, even my loaning of a gun to somebody else, has to be background checked. In the first year it's in action, it hasn't stopped a single crime.

KONST:  That's not true.

(CROSSTALK)

LARSON:  These people -- it's crazy.

KONST:  Lars, you know what?  What I find so interesting about your position is you're willing to rearrange the facts -- rearrange the facts that you use civil rights to exception to a law that you guys created, the Republicans. The Bush administration created a no fly list. So you're arguing .

(CROSSTALK)

LARSON:  But the no fly list said you can't fly on a plane. There is no constitutional right to fly in a plane. There is a constitutional right to buy a gun.

KONST:  Are there constitutional rights for terrorist?

LARSON:  . and you can't take away due process.

KONST:  In rare situations -- so you're saying non-Americans, 98.5 percent .

LARSON:  In rare situations, you're talking about forbidding 40,000 Americans from buying a gun who are legally allowed to have had buy a gun with no due process.

(CROSSTALK)

KONST:  Say the one -- 1 of the 1.5 non-foreigners who happens to be on this list, this no fly list, for very well informed reasons possibly organizing a terror attack in the United States as an person American. Say they try to purchase that gun. That's one. If they don't get that gun, they can challenge and get a gun the next day if they happen to be .

(CROSSTALK)

BEAM:  All right. We .

KONST:  So it's not that difficult here. The fact of the matter one day .

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM:  We got to wrap up.

LARSON:  Nomiki, you don't know the facts.

BREAM:  We got to wrap it up.

KONST:  Lars, I'm very well informed. I look at the White House .

(CROSSTALK)

BEAM:  Agree to disagree, more on "The Kelly File" right after this. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM:  In the wake of resent terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, critics have wondered whether moderate Muslims have done enough to condemn radical Islam. Dr. Bilal Rana is the president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, a group dedicated to battling Muslim radicalization and counseling at risk youth. The picture you see was taken at an event in which Rana condemned the attack in Paris. And just hours before he boarded a domestic flight after which he was detained by the FBI.
This allegedly came after a passenger reported him as a potential terror threat.

Dr. Bilal Rana joins me now. Doctor, great to have you with us tonight. The piece that you append about your experience was very touching and asking us to imagine going through your processing in your shoes when you're somebody who is openly radically talking about ISIS and denouncing everything that they stand for. And yet, you yourself know what it's like to feel the ISIS suspicion.

BILAL RANA, PRESIDENT AGMADIYYA MUSLIM YOUTH ASSOCIATION:  That's correct. Thank you for having me on, Shannon. It's embarrassing. It's hurtful I must say. And I think it's an experience that every Muslim has felt at some point. It's something that we'll probably feel more of. If there's message for Muslim-Americans right now is if you are profiled, it's very important for you to be patient, be very respectful of the authority. If you are teased in a situation, it's an opportunity for you to show other people what it means to be a good Muslim. And that situation, it's your chance to be the better American. Be fully compliant with authorities and that's very important.

I was picked out of a crowd by mistake. The irony in my story is that I've dedicated my life outside of work to fight radicalization, but I was mistaken as a radical on my flight by the lady that sat next to me.

BREAM:  And do you understand, rightly or wrongly, why people are fearful and they misunderstand and they're afraid and they feel pressured to report something they feel is suspicious even if it is someone like you who is out there speaking out against radical Islam?

RANA:  I do. I understand that. If I had a chance -- and maybe this lady who sat next to me who turned me in to the FBI, if she's watching, I want her to know I do get it. I understand. Muslims are scared -- Americans are scared and even Muslims are scared of ISIS. But at the end of the day, we're still your neighbor. I am the neighbor -- the Muslim next door. We are your shopkeepers. We are your doctors. We are the same people that we have been in this country for over a hundred years. And I want you to feel like you can have a conversation with me. Just talk to me rather than talking with the cockpit and maybe you'll discover that the person that you mistook as a radical is actually somebody who can really be a warm friend.

BREAM:  Doctor, we thank you very much and thank you for speaking out.

RANA:  Thank you very much for having me on, Shannon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM:  Go to Facebook.com/thekellyfile, tell us what you think about the show tonight. Thanks for watching. I'm Shannon Beam in for Megyn Kelly. This is "The Kelly File."

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