On December 2, 2015, the married couple of 2 years, Syed Rizwan Farook (US born citizen, 28 years old) and Tashfeen Malik, 27 years old were identified as the shooters who killed 14 and wounded 21 at a government office servicing the disabled. Previously, both attended an employee Christmas holiday party held at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. It is alleged that there was some sort of a confrontation before they left the premises. Before this attack the couple did attempt to destroy all cell phones and internet data.
It has been widely reported that the couple left a bomb manufacturing factory along with an arsenal of weaponry at a May 2015 rented Redlands, Cailfornia home. Because, this could be eventually defined as a terrorist attack, the FBI has taken over the investigation.
We know that Tasheen Malik left her six month’s old baby with Syed Farook’s, Mom who was living with them before taking off on this rampage. We can surmise that she was trained to use guns at some point prior to her entry into in the United States because she was a full participant in murdering 14 innocent peoples. Mr. Farook worked as a government county health inspector at a salary of about $70,000 per year.
In addition, we have been informed by family, friends and coworkers that Mr. Farook had become a more devout Muslim but he did not did not demonstrate signs of radicalism.
Mrs. Malik’s family in Pakistan mentioned that she used to be a modern girl but she became more religious after starting college in 2007. In the evenings she would talk in Arabic to someone on the internet. Since the family spoke a local dialect, they did not know what she was saying.
According to a 12/5/15 LA Times update:
“Farook, 28, was born in Chicago, and was the son of Pakistani immigrants — a truck driver and a clerk at Kaiser Permanente. He grew up in Riverside and attended La Sierra High School and studied at Cal State San Bernardino, earning a degree in environmental health. He then got a job as an inspector at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.”
“According to law enforcement, Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2013 during the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims who are able should perform at least once in their lives.”
“Farook loved fixing up old cars, neighbors said.”
“The couple met online a few years ago and married last year in Islam’s holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, according to co-workers at the public health department and others who knew them. The Saudi Embassy in Washington confirmed that Farook spent nine days in the kingdom in summer 2014.”
“The couple held a walima, a celebration after the wedding, at the Islamic Center of Riverside for people who couldn’t attend the Saudi ceremony. Ali said a few hundred people attended. The couple’s daughter was born in the spring and co-workers at the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, where Farook worked for five years as an inspector, said some of them had thrown him a baby shower.”
After the two had met on the internet marriage site, they were introduced to each other in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before he accompanied her to the US. Around July, 2014, Mrs. Malik entered the US legally with a K1 fiance` visa which does require a vetting process. The background check on Mrs. Malik would have included review of a police report and 3rd person contacts. Although her records show her to be a Pakistani national, she did grow up in Saudi Arabia with the exception of 5 years at a Pakistani University. Professors describe her as a brilliant, serious student in the pharmaceutical department. She was observed as being religious but not an extremist.
Within the year after their marriage and her arrival to the US in July, 2014, they were then blessed with a baby girl around May 2015. The TV news commentators are alleging that just before the actual shooting event, Mrs. Malik went online to declare their allegiance to ISIS on her Facebook.
Other interesting tidbits include the difficulty that the press, police and the investigative agencies, had in locating a picture of Mrs. Malik. Many of the family members had never seen her face because she had a habit of wearing her burka clothes. It does appear that she had made little effort to assimilate in her new country. While she did learn to speak a little English, she continued to wear the full burka outfit and she refused to drive a car.
Facts known to date as per 12/4/15 Washington Post’s Daily 202 report: Here are some of the latest developments:
“Officials are trying to establish a motive for the shooting. They said neither Farook, a devout Muslim and a US citizen, nor Malik, a Pakistani in the country on a visa, were on the terror watch list. Farook had some contact that was not “substantial” with persons of interest” via social media, authorities said.” It is possible this was terrorist-related but we don’t know,” President Obama said yesterday (12/3).”
“A day before the attack, authorities found evidence that Farook began deleting files from his computer, suggesting this was no spur-of-the-moment act.”
“During the shootout that killed the couple, police found more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition on or near them, and recovered two assault rifles and two 9mm pistols. They obtained the firearms legally. San Bernardino police received high praise for their quick response and 300 officers arriving on the scene.”
The latest news is that Syed Farook’s best friend since childhood, Enrique Marquez, Jr’s home was raided by the FBI on 12/5/15. They were former next door neighbors who shared the interest of working on old cars.
I would focus my initial investigation on the wife Tasheen Malik. First, I would take steps to verify her identity as not having been stolen. According to the landlord, the couple signed the lease for the Redland’s property after the birth of their baby, around May, 2015. The baby would have been conceived around August 2014.
His family members describe Syed Farook as a shy, introverted person who never displayed a temper. They say his wife talked about her past only in the broadest of terms.
My suspicion is that Mrs. Malik was fully radicalized before she married Syed. The marriage and the baby sealed Syed’s fate. She had not seriously bonded with the infant as this precious life was simply a means to the ending. It was Syed’s Mom who protected her grandchild. This plot for a terrorist attack was carried out almost to perfection.
Like many women of steel, she was able to persuade her husband towards becoming more zealous. I am surmising that he built the bombs. This plot was probably meant to be executed at a more symbolic location with a large public presence. Instead, the heated argument at the holiday party triggered the mass shooting of coworkers. This is both a terrorist act and one of workplace violence.
ISIS has publicly claimed this couple as followers.
UPDATE ON 12/23/15: By the end of December 2015, it has been reported that both Tasheen Malik and Syed Farook were fully radicalized before the 2014 marriage and had been planning an attack for over a year. They both had been practicing their shooting skills at a local gun range. Mr. Farook’s friend, Enrique Marquez, is in the custody of police officials for not coming forward with his knowledge about this couple’s prior plans for terrorist activities and for having purchased two guns on their behalf. It turns out, that if those vetting Ms. Malik for the K1 fiancee visa had checked her Facebook account which reflected her radical leanings, she would have been denied entry into the U.S.A.