The FBI is ignoring its own guidelines on terrorism in the July 4 El Al shootings, possibly undermining America's war against Islamic extremists, several experts told The Jewish Week.
The counterterrorism experts, both American and Israeli, say they are baffled by the FBI's continuing refusal to label as terrorism the Independence Day attack at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport by an Egyptian gunmen that killed a female El Al ticket agent, an Israeli diamond broker, and wounded three others.
Charging that the FBI is being compromised by political concerns, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss is seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to discuss why the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport have not been classified a terrorist incident: in apparent neglect of the Justice Department's own guidelines.
Two Brooklyn congressmen have joined a grassroots campaign to have the FBI officially designate the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport by an Egyptian gunman as a suspected terrorist attack.
"The FBI's failure to publicly acknowledge this fact is dangerous because it lessens the vigilance against similar acts ... in the near future," said Rep. Major Owens in a July 21 press statement.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, in a letter to FBI director Robert Mueller, urged Mueller to investigate the act as "a possible terrorist attack."
The FBI, under pressure from the Jewish community, is now investigating the July 4 killing of two Jews at the El Al counter at Los Angeles International Airport as a terrorist incident.
This comes nearly eight weeks after the bureau first rejected, then downplayed, that the random shooting by an Egyptian gunman might have been a terrorist act.