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CEDAR RAPIDS - More federal gun regulations won't bring an end to terrorist attacks, Sen. Chuck Grassley, said Friday.
Grassley, during a visit to Cedar Rapids, said he sent a letter to the Department of State and Homeland Security to gather more information on Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen's history and why he was allowed to work as a government contractor, despite having been on a terrorist watch list in 2013 and 2014.
Though the FBI could not have arrested him because they did not prove that Mateen had committed a crime, Grassley said he believes Mateen should have remained on a surveillance list since he was interviewed first for making comments co-workers thought were sympathetic to terrorists and then for having contact with an American who died in a suicide bombing in Syria. Grassley said he wants to determine if there needs to be a change in FBI policy or if legislation should be passed on keeping those who may be a potential threat on a watch list.
On the day of the shooting, Mateen used his Facebook page to pledge allegiance to ISIS. The CIA has not been able to determine a link between the Islamic State and Mateen despite his comments.
Grassley said he still is opposed to a ban that would keep terrorism suspects from buying a gun.
'There isn't a single proposal before the United States Senate that would keep him from doing what he did because he got those guns legally,” Grassley said, adding no one wants a terrorist to have any kind of weapon. 'You can see that the bombers in Boston ... what damage they did. It isn't just a gun issue. This issue deals with radical Islamic terrorism.
'You've got to keep your eye on the ball. That's where the ball is.”
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