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Katko wants to see more funding for FBI investigations in wake of Orlando shooting

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) is hoping that officials can learn from the tragedy in Orlando, to prevent another such deadly terrorist shooting going forward.

Katko expects there to be plenty of conversation this week in Washington centering on what happened in an Orlando gay nightclub, when 29-year old Omar Mateen carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Katko, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, says his biggest concern is the fact that Mateen was investigated more than once by the FBI, because of potential links to terrorism.

"I think the FBI did their job, because they had certain criteria and if they don’t fit those criteria, there’s not much they can do. We’re going to look at those criteria. We’re going to drill down find out exactly what they were told, and see if we can find a way to enhance those criteria; so that people prone to violence like this guy clearly, seemed to have been, so we identify them.”

Katko also suggests that considering there are 900 active probes of potential terrorists across the country right now, there should be more funding appropriated for investigations. One thing Katko isn’t clamoring for is more gun control that would take weapons out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

"It’s very easy just to say, ‘we’re going to outlaw all AR-15s, and that’ll solve the problem. Look at Boston. They used pressure cookers, the things you cook chickens with, right? So they’re going to find a way to do it. We have to tease out the harder thing, the mentally ill and the terrorists those are the two big things amongst all these shootings we have to really work on.”

Katko says lawmakers will continue to work on legislation for both domestic and international ways to stop terrorist acts like these.

“But the bottom line is we have to destroy ISIS, where ISIS is deep rooting, and that’s in the Middle East.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.