Does Chattanooga attack herald new threat to the homeland?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


ED REINHOLD, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: No, we had no intelligence indicating that there would be any type of attack today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Domestic terrorism, does that rule out any links possibly to ISIS maybe?

REINHOLD: No. We're looking at everything possible avenue, whether it was terrorism, whether it was domestic, international, or whether a simple criminal act.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: That is the FBI special agent in charge of the shooting today in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was interesting that the FBI took control of the investigation almost right away, and soon thereafter the FBI director was in the Oval Office briefing the president.

Now, you heard talk about ISIS there. There was the incident back in Garland, Texas, you may remember that was tied to ISIS said to be another lone wolf attack. But like that incident, there was also Twitter activity before this shooting in Chattanooga. This is from an ISIS tied account on Twitter, and it came out at 10:32. By all accounts the shooting started at 10:45 a.m. Obviously raising a lot of questions.

We'll start there with what we know. Let's bring in our panel, Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. OK, Steve?

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Clearly indications of foreknowledge would be significant and suggest that somebody else was either involved or may have been inspired or may have inspired the gunman. So that would be -- I would think if I were leading the investigation that would be the first thing I'm looking at. Is this ISIS inspired? Is this ISIS related? Are there other ties to Al Qaeda groups, what have you.

In a sense, though, this is yet another one of the attacks either inspired by ISIS, or if it's a lone gunman here as the president described it, that suggests this new paradigm that people have been warning with about for years is actually here. What I think we have to be careful of doing is not shifting all of our attention and all of our resources into trying to find these lone gunman, but be mindful of the fact that there are still terrorist groups trying to carry out mass casualty attacks as well.

BAIER: I mean, that's a good point. Just breaking right now, New York police say they are adding security at local military recruiting stations in New York after the Chattanooga attack. They're citing no specific threat. But A. B., this does not obviously happen in a vacuum. We had the warnings prior to the Fourth of July. We've had -- we've been on heightened state of alert for this type of attack, lone wolf attack.

A. B. STODDARD, THE HILL: It doesn't matter if they're a lone wolf or not. They are -- if they're inspired by ISIS, and we've known for months and months and months from our own FBI that there is ISIS in 50 states. And we've also known that military families are under direct and constant threat from ISIS, and so military installations and facilities are, as well. We might not have to put all our resources into it, but at some point we have to acknowledge that military installations and locations are under a specific threat, probably chronically, and need to be better protected. And that's going to take more than just the local police driving by.

This is not going to end because a few plots were stopped on July 4th. We're going to find out if this person was inspired by ISIS or not. But whether they're one person in high school or they came here from the Middle East, if that's what they're doing, responding from ISIS overseas and taking direction to attack, we need to respond to it quickly at the local level and especially at our military facilities.

BAIER: This man, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, was born in Kuwait. We know that he grew up in the area of Tennessee, according to authorities, near where these shootings took place. We don't know a lot about him other than the FBI was not tracking him.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, unless this is an unbelievable coincidence of a psychotic who happens to carry his name who went out of control, this is in all probability an example of radicalism at work.

I think our emphasis on ISIS is a little overstated, because we had these attacks the predate ISIS. Nidal Hasan when he shot up and killed 13 American, stood up on a table and yelled "Allahu Akbar," was acting pre- ISIS.

What ISIS does is I think it gives direction, organization, and because of its command of the social media, can actually activate people in a way that was more random before. But the general issue is radical Islam.
And unless we have a president who immediately says -- this is a lone gunman. How did he know? In the absence --

BAIER: Let me play this sound bite from the Oval Office talking to the press pool after meeting with the FBI director, President Obama.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We don't know yet all the details. We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks. We've identified a name. And at this point, a full investigation is taking place. The FBI will be in the lead working closely with local law enforcement.


BAIER: You were saying.

KRAUTHAMMER: When you say "lone gunman," what you're doing subtly or unsubtly, is disconnecting the dots. When we had the underwear bomber try to bring down a plane over Detroit, Obama immediately said this was an isolated extremist. It wasn't, in fact. It turned out to be connected to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

So I think the whole six-and-a-half years of Obama always wanting to err on the side of downplaying the threat. The threat is radical Islam, which he won't say. And, look, the war is going to be generational. I think the ISIS part where it's concentrated and directed and more focused is something that we can do something about, but that would require destroying them in their homeland.

BAIER: I want to be careful about the tweets to the ISIS-related account. In Garland, Texas, we know that it came out before the shooting, before that happened. In this case, the timestamp does say 10:34, but we don't know if that's Pacific Time, Mountain Time, Eastern Time, so we have to be about it coming out before the shooting. The point is there are ISIS accounts that are pointing directly to this incident and touting it as one of their own.

HAYES: Right, and this investigation, we may learn that soon. He may well end up being a lone gunman, but I think Charles is right about the president. The president has a history of doing this in his initial statements, downplaying these attacks and suggesting that they're not related to the broader fight that we're not really fighting.

One final point on the military installations -- it is preposterous that these marines are not allowed to carry weapons at these things. That is something the president could change right now and should change right now.

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