Far too often during the Obama administration, attacks that had all the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism were never charged or labeled as terror attacks. Some of the many examples: The 2009 fatal shooting attack by Tennessee Islamic convert Carlos Bledsoe on a military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas; the 2014 fatal decapitation attack by Oklahoma’s Alton Nolen at Vaughn Foods in Moore, Oklahoma; and the 2017 head-shot execution of a Denver transit security officer by Texas resident Joshua Cummings. Those and many other Islamist-inspired attacks were left to local authorities to charge under various state laws, such as murder.
Correct or not, critics often attributed Obama-era decisions not to charge extremism-motivated cases under federal terrorism statutes to a desire to downplay the Islamist threat -- and maybe also to reduce the number of terrorism attacks accrued under the Democratic Party’s watch. In other cases, legal rationales actually underlay decisions.