The case of a former United States Army soldier who converted to a radical Islamic lifestyle before committing a horrendous murder in Denver has finally come to an end, with sentencing being handed down on Thursday, with it being another example of the failures of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to prevent the crime from occurring, to begin with.
37-year-old Joshua Cummings committed a horrifying murder, after converting to Islam and becoming radicalized, but those familiar with Cummings say that the FBI is to blame for failing to prevent the crime in the first place.
The case began in December of 2016 when the leader of a Denver area mosque contacted the Department of Homeland Security to report what he described as "worrisome statements" being made by a man who identified himself as simply being "Joshua, from Pampa, Texas", according to letter sent to the government from the Mosque leader.
There was a luncheon event on December 24th of 2016, where several attendees were gathered at the Denver Mosque, in which Cummings attended.
Several members of the Mosque said that Cummings, known only to them at the time as Joshua, made statements that seemed to suggest he was going to commit an act of violence.
Attendees said that Joshua refused to register, claiming he both had no identification and that he "didn't trust the authorities".
Cummings has arrived at the event on a bike and claimed that three years prior he had converted to Islam. He told those in attendance that he was in support of Jihad, and then said he had a mission.
"He seems pretty advanced in his path of radicalization," the letter says. It says that Cummings talked of wanting to "fight now" in the Denver area "to establish the rule of Islam," and that he had referenced a Quran quote about the Prophet Musa who was asked to kill his entire community.
The Mosque leader also attached videos and images of Cummings and told of a hotel where he was residing in case the government needed to speak to him.
He stressed that it appeared as if Cummings was in the late stages of radicalization and had potentially planned some sort of attack upon innocent people.
Below is the letter from the redacted Denver Mosque to the Department of Homeland Security.
<p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View Joshua Cummings Case: Mosque Leader's Letter to Homeland Security which FBI Ignored~ on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/document/370032160/Joshua-Cummings-Case-Mosque-Leader-s-Letter-to-Homeland-Security-which-FBI-Ignored#from_embed" style="text-decoration: underline;" >Joshua Cummings Case: Mosque Leader's Letter to Homeland Security which FBI Ignored~</a> by <a title="View Red Pill's profile on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/user/366983429/Red-Pill#from_embed" style="text-decoration: underline;" >Red Pill</a> on Scribd</p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" title="Joshua Cummings Case: Mosque Leader's Letter to Homeland Security which FBI Ignored~" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/370032160/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-HsbxR8V91QHpzA7Jh97l&show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" scrolling="no" id="doc_94965" width="1200" height="1600" frameborder="0"></iframe>
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that they indeed received the letter and then passed the case on to the FBI to follow up with Cummings.
Despite the efforts of the Mosque, the FBI failed to pursue the lead.
Then, on January 31st of 2017 at around 11:30 at night, Denver Police was called to respond to a shooting near Union Station, as <a href="https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/man-shot-dead-near-union-station">originally reported by The Denver Channel</a>, close to 16th street and Wynkoop street.
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Once the Denver Police arrived at the scene, they found 56-year-old RTD Transit Police Officer Scott Von Lanken unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the back of the neck.
Witnesses claimed that a "light-colored" Muslim man approached Officer Lanken from behind and said "do as I say" before he fired directly into his neck.
Officer Lanken was soon reported dead, and a homicide case was opened.
Video from nearby businesses showed Cummings running from the scene of the murder, and he was apprehended within hours of the killing.
After the arrest for first-degree murder, law enforcement discovered that Cummings had an out of state criminal history, and were made known of the incident in Denver that should have placed him on a watch list.
Apparently, Cummings was also in the FBI database after another incident occurred at a Texas mosque in which raised red flags for the Agency to investigate.
As we too often hear, the FBI dropped the ball, and as a result, an innocent man was killed.
Cummings reportedly ran a jiu-jitsu academy in Austin, Texas where he'd began practicing Islam and later became radicalized.
Joshua Cummings was born in Pampa, Texas back in 1979 and served in the U.S. Army from 1996 to 2002, earning the rank of Sergeant.
He was honorably discharged from active duty and later was a reservist in Amarillo's Reserve Drill Sergeant Unit. As an infantryman who was not deployed, Cummings served in Fort Benning, Georgia, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Schweinfurt, Germany while on active duty, according to the Department of Defense.
The case brought attention nationwide. Both the fact that an ex-Army Soldier had committed murder and that he has converted to Islam as well as having become radicalized drew even more interest.
The murdered RTD Officer Von Lanken left behind a wife and two children, according to friends and family.
During the trial, Cummings claimed that he supported the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, although prosecution failed to link ISIS to having to be responsible for participating in the attack.
The FBI throughout the trial declined to comment on what, if any, action Special Agents took after Cummings was placed upon their radar, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/joshua-cummings-life-prison-no-parole-killing-scott-von-lanken-denver-transit-guard/">according to CBS</a>.
After months of trial, the jury deliberated for three hours on Thursday before coming to the conclusion that Cummings was guilty, sentencing him to life in prison without the possibility of Parole.
The overall failures of the intelligence community in this case further underscore the incompetence within the agency and the lack of protections afforded to the public as a result.
Cummings may spend his life behind bars, but Officer Lanken's children will never see their father again. Another stain on the Bureau which continues to wear itself into a diminished credibility.
Our hearts go out to the family of Lanken during this excruciatingly difficult time. May Cummings rot in hell.
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