As the debate continues to question whether or not the husband and wife suspects in Thursday’s San Bernardino massacre were associated with ISIS, the Islamic State, an online broadcast by the Islamic State on Saturday alleged that two of its supporters had indeed carried out the attacks. However, the group refused to refer to the couple as members. According to the Washington Post, ISIS praised the attacks while not claiming responsibility for it. Prior to the claims made by the group, the FBI said on Friday that it is investigating the massacre as an act of terrorism. President Barack Obama has, for the most part, echoed that assertion by Saturday morning.
The reasoning for the strong suspicion that the killers were associated with the Islam nation is because the wife – a Pakistani woman who joined her husband in the massacre – was on Facebook after the deadly attack to pledge her allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State. Also, a publicly-viewed investigation of the couple’s living quarters revealed an arsenal of weaponry. Yet, officials are investigating more in-depth to determine whether the pair worked alone or was directed by foreign Islamist radicals. In spite of the Islamic group staking claim, it is not known if Syed Rizwan Farook, 29, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27 – who were married last year in Riverside, California – were part of a larger terrorist group.
In spite of the Farook family’s attorney’s cautioning that the two weren’t necessarily terrorists in a high-profiled news conference on Friday afternoon, FBI Director James B. Comey said that the investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by Farook and Malik. The Farook family’s lawyer, David Chelsey, admitted that Malik was very private and had become quite traditional in terms of prayer and fasting. Some persons who knew Farook well said he had not responded to comments about the Paris attacks in recent weeks. Malik had become totally involved with the apparel donned by Islamic females. Her brother-in-law had never even seen her face as she maintained the strict customs, even though Malik had been married to Farook since August of last year. The couple have a daughter who is now in child protective services according to another family lawyer – Mohammad Abuershaid – and that baby may now be adopted by Farook’s aunt.
Naturally, suggestions that this was simply a case of Farook being angry with co-workers and nothing more has been discarded for the most part. Such a scenario would likely involve a person with a gun or two at his disposal. That is not what authorities found at the couple’s apartment. Instead of a couple of guns, they found approximately a dozen pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Also of concern is that the two damaged their personal electronic devices, including cellphones and hard drives, to destroy digital evidence of their dealings prior to the massacre. It is apparent that they tried desperately to cover their tracks to keep authorities from learning more about them. A Facebook official who spoke on the condition of anonymity – due to there being an ongoing investigation – confirmed that the wife, Malik, pledged her allegiance via a Facebook post to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is the leader of the Islamic State which includes the militant group that has established a government in Syria and Iraq, according to CBS News. Farook had a Facebook page which was deleted just before the massacre. Naturally, Syria refugees are currently at the center of a major debate in the United States as President Obama and leftists want the refugees to enter the nation while more conservative persons on the political right are concerned about the refugees’ entry suggesting there may be danger to Americans if they enter the country without intense scrutiny.
By Friday, President Obama had also come around to admitting that terrorism may have likely been involved in the attack that left 14 persons dead and 21 injured at the Inland Regional Center east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino. Initially, Obama suggested labeling the incident as a case of workplace violence. On his radio address early Saturday morning, he once again asserted that the incident is now appearing to be a terrorist incident as opposed to a case of workplace violence, according to USA Today on Saturday morning. On the president’s weekly radio address, he said that the attacks show a need to “prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies.” He also said:
It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror. And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years – the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.
Last week Obama told Americans that there was basically no need to fear a terrorist attack. Less than a day before the Paris attack that claimed the lives of 130 persons a couple of weeks ago, Obama stated that ISIS was contained. Once again, Obama has been politicizing gun control legislation since Thursday’s attack. On Saturday morning, the president’s message urged the United States Congress to close what he calls a no-fly gun loophole. He said that, as the situation is now in the United States, people on the no-fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. He said, “That is insane. If you’re too dangerous to board a plane, you’re too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun.”