DOJ and FBI described crucial data found on the Pensacola Terrorist's iPhones today in a news Conference, without Apple's Assistance
On January 22, 2020 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Video Conference: Barr Clarifies that 'Apple has not given any substantive assistance' in the Shooting Case in Pensacola Florida." While Apple attempted to change the narrative, in the end, the phones couldn't be opened with Apple's refusal to unlock the phones by any means necessary to provide the DOJ and FBI find potential information on the suspect in the Pensacola shootings.
Today, both the DOJ and FBI announced that they were finally able to crack the phones without Apple's assistance and as feared, lost precious time in being able to tap into the treasure trove of terrorist activity in the States with an Al Qaeda group. This could be a PR nightmare for Apple with the general public, although die-hard fans won't blink at Apple defending privacy, even a terrorists privacy unfortunately.
Fox News reports today that "The Saudi aviation student who killed three American sailors in a December 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola had been in contact with Al Qaeda before carrying out the attack.
The communication was discovered after investigators broke through the encryption on a phone belonging to gunman Mohammed Alshamrani, the sources said Monday.
Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray are addressed the matter at a press conference at 11 a.m. EDT today.
The FBI, following the Dec. 6 shooting, had asked Apple for help in accessing data from a pair of iPhones owned by the gunman, as investigators had been unsuccessful in unlocking the devices.
Barr said in January: "We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of American people and prevent future attack."
Barr in January also called the attack an “act of terrorism,” noting that Alshamrani – a second lieutenant with the Royal Saudi Air Force – was "motivated by jihadist ideology."
Senior Justice Department officials told Fox News the 21-year-old shooter left a "trail of extremism" in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.
The video below has been set at the 11:51 mark as the breaking news begins. There was some very important information found on the pair of iPhones that makes this video worth watching.
It took 4 months for the pair of iPhones to be cracked and in that time the DOJ and FBI lost precious time in being able to hunt down the terrorists in a more timely manner.
While some groups will point to the DOJ and FBI not needed Apple any longer due various tools and hackers, it's a warped view of the matter. The ability to track down terrorist activity in real-time as an attack has taken place is needed.
Apple has forced the Government to turn to the legislation process to force them to comply with all court orders which would include opening iPhones. This is already in the works. Patently Apple covered this in a February report titled "Legislation in the works could remove immunity that currently protects tech companies from having to Assist Law Enforcement."