Statements issued by eyewitnesses as well as the shooter himself suggests that there is more to this tragic event than we are being told.
Less than a month after the Berlin Christmas attack, another allegedly ISIS-inspired attack took place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida when 26 year old Esteban Santiago opened fire in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, killing 5 and injuring 8. Yet, like almost every other mass shooting that receives 24/7 coverage by the corporate media, many questions have emerged in the days since as to what really took place during the event. Eyewitness accounts, testimony from the shooter himself, historical precedent as well as the government’s response to the crisis all seem to point to the fact that this tragedy was not just the work of a “lone wolf” shooter.
On January 6th, Esteban Santiago, an honorably discharged Iraq War veteran, went to baggage claim after his Air Canada flight landed. Santiago, who had a gun in his checked luggage, claimed his bags and went to the bathroom to load his handgun, according to official sources. Upon leaving the bathroom, Santiago allegedly opened fire, shooting a total of 13 people, 5 of which died at the scene. Strangely, Santiago laid down spread-eagle once he ran out of ammunition, waiting patiently to be arrested without saying a word.
As news of the mass shooting began to circulate, so too did past information regarding the shooter, particularly several unusual claims he had made in the months between his honorable discharge and the shooting. CBS News reported that in November 2016, Santiago had walked into an FBI Office in Anchorage, Alaska, where he claimed that he was “being forced to fight for ISIS.” CNN also reported on this unusual visit, but offered a different version of events. Law enforcement sources told CNN that Santiago told FBI agents that he was “hearing voices” and, mostly troubling of all, he was being directed by a US Intelligence Agency to watch ISIS videos. According to FBI special agent George Piro, his “erratic behavior concerned FBI agents” and Santiago then voluntarily submitted to a mental health evaluation. Not surprisingly, these aspects of the report have raised the specter of the CIA’s MK Ultra program, which has allegedly been used to “program” various individuals who went on to commit murders throughout modern US history.
Eyewitness accounts also offered information at odds with the official narrative of the shooting. One eyewitness claimed on video that there were multiple shooters, claiming to have seen at least three in total. “[…] we could see inside literally where the windows — you could see the fire coming from the barrels. There was like at least three people in there still shooting. Like it was like a high-powered rifle, like an AR or something […]. They was non-stop shooting. Like they just started hitting different people inside the crowd. We had to leave. We had to get on the roof.”
Also unusual are the attempts to link Santiago’s abhorrent actions directly to ISIS based on a single image where Santiago has his index finger extended. According to some experts, this “finger signal” alludes to the Muslim belief of the tahwid – the oneness of God. Though the tahwid is embraced by all muslims, the claim is being made that Santiago’s extended finger in a single twitter photo is indicative of his relationship to ISIS. Despite the lack of concrete evidence to support that assertion, allegations that the attack was ISIS-planned are already being spread. The eagerness to make this connection is not surprising considering that an ISIS attack in the US could easily be used to justify a greater military presence in Syria or elsewhere, as well as clamp-down on civil liberties domestically – things the US federal government has long been interested in realizing. As information released in the time since the attack raises more questions than it answers, it seems likely that the coming days will reveal the true motives and intentions behind this recent tragic event.
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