Given that he reportedly suffered mental health problems, that he told FBI agents he was hearing voices about ISIS and that he was held for psychiatric evaluation in Alaska just two months ago, how is it even possible that Esteban Santiago was allowed to fly with a gun?
Following the bloodbath he is believed to have caused at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday — killing five and wounding eight in a shooting spree at baggage claim — the FBI said Saturday that Santiago wasn’t even on the federal no-fly list.
Why in heaven’s name not?
How many warning signs, red flags and alarm bells does the agency need to recognize that someone poses a danger, deserves ongoing scrutiny and shouldn’t be allowed to possess — let alone fly — with weapons and ammunition?
At least in the case of Omar Mateen, the disturbed young man who pledged allegiance to ISIS as he massacred 49 and wounded 53 at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub last June, the FBI had raised its antenna and tracked his routine for 10 months before mistakenly closing the case.
But from what little the FBI is saying in Fort Lauderdale, it appears the agency demonstrated insufficient attention after Santiago walked into its Anchorage office in November in a “very agitated state.”
According to various reports, Santiago said he wanted to talk about the government having taken over his mind, about being forced to watch propaganda videos on ISIS and about feeling forced to fight for the Islamic State terror group.
You’d think words like ISIS and Islamic State would hit agents in the face. They should have been especially concerned — if they knew — that the Iraqi combat veteran had reportedly been discharged from the Alaska Guard in August “for unsatisfactory performance.”