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04 December 2015

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Matthew

PB: Actually the more horrific the target, the better for IS. They don't want refugees fleeing their "paradise." Attacks like this guarantee that the West will withdraw the welcome mat. Win/win for the evildoers.

turcopolier

All

The level of moronic denial in the media is inspired by Obama's narcissist inability to admit he was ever wrong about anything. He wants this to be about disarming Americans rather than foreign inspired terrorism and he refuses to give up his position. It appears that the guns were legally purchased and background checks had been run on the sales. This is awkward for Obama's true objective in disarming Americans. Farooq was a US born citizen, college graduate with a good job, no criminal record, no record of mental illness. why wouldn't he pass federal/state background checks? Of course, the longer Obama keeps up this self obsessed sham the more he benefits Trump, Cruz et al. My working theory of what happened here is that malik was the controlling force in this. IMO she "married" him on instruction and was sent to the United States in the same way that some of the Paris attackers were sent to Europe. She got pregnant and as pious Muslims abortion was impossible. That occasioned a delay. Something in the nature of a religious confrontation at the Christmas party probably caused them to decide to act immediately. BTW the Hungarian government is saying that abdeslam was seen in Budapest before the Paris attacks recruiting unregistered refugees. He thereafter departed with them. pl

Tyler

The third man was taken alive in all this, yes?

Why haven't we heard anything about him?

Valissa

I read somewhere (sorry I don't have a link) that he was caught but they determined he was just someone running away from the attack and not part of it.

Patrick Bahzad

Sure, that may be one explanation, totslly consistent with their MO.
They may also want to hit out at the largest possible array of targets, spreading fear as wide as possible and making it increasingly difficult to forecast what is a target and what isn't.

oofda

Colonel,
The classic two faux experts on terrorism are Steve Emmrson and Evan Kohlman. Emerson is the Islamophobe who was roundly criticized for his insisting that Birmingham, England was a totally Muslim city and that the police in London were enforcing Shiara law. He further stated that there were n-go zones in Europe, where Muslims controlled the streets.

Kohlman is called the “the Doogie Howser of Terrorism” and somehow has made himself into an expert witness on terrorism. Neither Emerson nor Kohlman speak Arabic, nor have they served or lived in the ME or SE Asia regions. Neither served in the military or the intelligence community. It is astounding how the media- and even the government - have come to consider these two as 'experts.' About the only thing interesting about Emerson is to see what color his hair is dyed when he next appears in a TV interview.

Valissa

‘Where’s Syed?’: How the San Bernardino shooting unfolded https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/wheres-syed-how-the-san-bernardino-shooting-unfolded/2015/12/03/2ee90128-9a15-11e5-8917-653b65c809eb_story.html
A technician wheeled out a lectern. A supervisor stood up to welcome them. At some point after the first hour, Farook got up and left his papers on the table and his jacket on the back of his chair.

“Where’s Syed?” Baccari remembered someone at the table asking, and then a little while later Farook was back, this time with his wife, two assault rifles, two handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

...One health department supervisor sometimes referred to her team of inspectors as a “Little United Nations,” because they had come to San Bernardino from everywhere: Eritrea, Colombia, India, Mexico and Central America — the most diverse office in San Bernardino County. “No talking politics. No interoffice drama,” was how their supervisor, Amanda Adair, described the office rules.

Farook had always been one of the most agreeable, the quietest, and also among the best at his job, Adair said. He was a college graduate with five years of experience in environmental health. He had helped train his co-workers on a new computer program and won gift certificates to TGI Fridays as an interoffice reward for good performance.
------------------------

Nothing noted here about anything controversial said in the meeting Syed left.

It appears it was the wife who was most radicalized. I posted a WP link on the other San Bernardino post, but someone else posted the NYT article below, which is more thorough, on another post.

Wife in San Bernardino Attack Pledged ISIS Allegiance, Officials Say http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/05/us/tashfeen-malik-islamic-state.html
The woman who helped carry out the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook posting, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Joe100

There is more relevant information (assuming it is accurate) in this article -

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/12/04/san-bernardino-attackers-tried-to-cover-their-tracks-official-says/

Including (as described below) that the couple had destroyed much of their electronic equipment (the FBI has taken the "pieces" to their forensic lab in Quantico) - which suggests they had information to hide.

"The official did not elaborate Friday on the specific types of devices that were destroyed. But because some of the items recovered by law enforcement were broken up into pieces, it was unclear how much could be recovered from the devices themselves, the official said.

The FBI is still trying to determine when the devices were smashed and has not concluded if they were damaged before the shooting or during the hours between the massacre in San Bernardino and the shootout with police later that same day that killed both attackers."

Maybe the "experts" (at least the one's who should have known better) should have withheld judgment until the facts were clear..

Patrick Bahzad

PL,

The female as the enabler or even handler makes for an interesting lead, I agree. Either that, or he was radicalized before and introduced to her as his future partner in crime. Or, third possibility, they went through a radicalization process after they moved in together and had contact through direct or indirect (online) means with people who inspired them in what they finally did.

BabelFish

I finally heard a glimmer of intelligence on an NPR broadcast where the fact was pointed out that there was probably not a reasonable way that these two could have afforded the amount of weapons, ammo and supplies they acquired on their salaries. No one on the broadcast doubted it was terrorism.

I was taught to follow the money in investigations and I have no doubt that the FBI will find that instructive, perhaps more so than emails or cell phone calls.

mbrenner

Here is an unconventional perspective - one that I expect will irk a number of people. It begins with a formulation of the "problem" that diverges from that, or those, currently used. Without disparaging the importance of Islamist terrorism or terrorist organizations, one might examine it from an American national perspective that sees it as only one of a variety of phenomena we could call anomic violence. That is to say: the "problem" is the frequency of mass killings in the United States which target innocent persons - usually at random, occasionally as a designated cause of grievance (e.g. disgruntled worker syndrome.)
Subsumed under this broad category are Islamist terrorists (Hassan, Tsarnaev brothers, probably Farooq/Malik); religious crackpots (Timothy McVeigh), the anti-abortion fanatic (Dear) and the nihilists (Colombine, Sandy Hook); and others. I believe that we should look at them as an ensemble. The common denominator is that all of these perpetrators arise from (are products of) a society that is warped in ways that are conducive to persons - variously motivated - expressing the emotions in violent acts. Those ways are numerous. They include, to my mind, an abnormal amount of individual estrangement from the institutions that structure and order behavior, a blurring of the boundaries between virtual realities and actual ones (see electronic communications among other things), cultivation of a narcissistic ethos with its implied message that "anything goes," innumerable models of egomaniacal/violent behavior in reality shows, entertainment, video games, and the behavior of public figures (usually verbal).
In short, this is a social environment that enables - and, in some respect, actually encourages - violence. The proximate causes that can lead to any particular act of violence are numerous and diverse - Islamic radicalization being one of them. Certain types of emotional unstable personalities already inclined to act violently are living in circumstances that make it psychologically easier to overcome inhibitions.
Here's an analogy. War is a feature of international life primarily because international society has no structures that can set and enforce rules. Conflict situations, therefore, are ubiquitous. Any particular conflict has identifiable specific causes but the overriding truth is the absence of mechanisms to avoid organized violence among societies. There also are patterns at times in some places, e.g. the balance-of-power wars among professional armies in 18th century Europe. But those are temporary and partial (as is Islamic violence today).

I am not sure where this leads us in policy terms. However, I believe that a formulation of this kind could help us to avoid being trapped in simplistic, misleading definitions of the "problem" and counter-productive actions that flow from them.

Ex-PFC Chuck

PFort Russ has a post up with photos of Erdogan's son allegedly with the leaders of IS and Nursa.
http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/12/turkeys-first-son-enjoys-dinner-with.html
The writer is not sure if that's really who they are. Perhaps someone here has an opinion.

Babak Makkinejad

Oui, cherchez la femme..

The Beaver

Colonel,

This one started by LATimes via a tweet is priceless:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/did-journos-get-tricked-into-reporting-that-the-turkish-president-was-a-sb-shooter/

At 11:29 p.m. ET, The Los Angeles Times‘ FBI/Justice Reporter Rick Serrano took to Twitter for what was, by my accounts, the very first word of the suspect’s identity:

"Tayyeep Bin Ardogan" citizen of Qatar !!!

Spread like wildfire by Fox, Pamela Geller and others on wednesday evening .

Chris Chuba

Funny you should say that, I was thinking that all of the chatter about New York and Washington DC was probably misdirection. 60 Minutes had a show where they interviewed, possibly Bill Bratton but in any case they give a glimpse into NYC's anti-terrorism measures and it was very impressive. NYC is a hard target.

I recall that they had cameras everywhere and they had rooms with monitors but the really impressive thing was that they has computer imaging SW that would filter down the noise to highlight the most suspicious activity around key areas like the subways. I'm certain that they have lots of other security measures that they didn't show. I am not claiming that NYC is not vulnerable to damage, I am just saying that it is much more secure than a sleepy, semi-highly densely populated burb. The burb will have a much longer reaction time to a terror attack and still offer a reasonable target.

PeterHug

If I had been walking down the street next to that when it happened, I would have been running as fast as I could too.
The other "third man" I've heard people discussing is someone who may have bought some of the guns used in the shooting - I think perhaps a roommate. And apparently if that's true, those guns were bought legally as well.

Cynic Librarian

The San Bernarddino CAIR leader said that Muslims are seeing Daesh propaganda all over the place. My question is, has CAIR come up with a counter-strategy on the same media? Is the government targeting these outlets? How "mainstream" are the outlets?

Jiu Jitsu

according to official records, Farook's salary was $53,000+ per year ($71,000 value if including benefits of health insurance, 401k, etc)

His coworker said his wife (who had a Pakistan passport but lived & worked as a pharmacist in Saudi Arabia) radicalized him

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/san-bernardino-shooting-syed-rizwan-farook-sister-saira-khan-speaks-out-disbelief/

"Christian Nwadike was shocked when he learned the man accused of gunning down over a dozen people turned out to be the coworker he sat only feet from for five years.

He said Farook was different after he returned from Saudi Arabia.

"Do you believe that he was radicalized?" Begnaud asked him.

"Yes, by the wife. I think he married a terrorist," Nwadike said.

"He married a terrorist?"

"Yes," Nwadike responded.

A law enforcement source tells CBS News that the bombs found in the couple's home are near carbon copies of explosives shown in an issue of
al Qaeda's on-line magazine "Inspire,"
which
printed instructions on "how to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."

On behalf of their family, Farhan and Saira expressed their condolences.

"I want to say that we are deeply saddened by what took place and we can't imagine the loss that everybody has gone through, all the people who are injured or hurt badly...our thoughts and prayers are going out to them," Saira said.

Saira insists she has no idea what motivated her brother and his wife to go on a deadly rampage. She and Farhan are left wondering -- could they have stopped it?

"So many things I asked myself. I ask myself if I had called him that morning or the night before, asked him how he was doing, what he was up to. If I had any inclination, maybe I could have stopped it," Saira said.

"Did you see weapons in their home?" Begnaud asked.

"He had guns," Farhan said, "but he purchased from regular stores. Like handguns somebody would have."

On Thursday, an FBI evidence response team combed through Farook's rental home. Inside, they found more than 4,500 bullets, 12 pipe bombs and enough material and tools to build several more.

"Even I was surprised...that somebody can go and buy that much weapons," Farhan said.

Saira said her brother did not talk much.

"He was always shy and quiet," she said.

She also said she liked Farook's wife.

"She was also shy and quiet, kept to herself," Saira said.

Saira said she hasn't had time to process what's happened.

...

Farhan said he felt an obligation to address the victims on the night of the shooting.

"I wanted to go there and talk to the victims, people who were hurt... So I love this country, I love the people," Farhan said. "And I felt responsible to go and tell this to the people."

"Do you think your brother deserves to be forgiven?" Begnaud asked Saira.

"That's a hard question," she said. "I don't even know if I would forgive him. Just because of what he did."

Farhan said, right now, he could not forgive Farook.

"With what he did, no. What he did to his own family, to his daughter, to our family, to the innocent people there -- no. I wouldn't forgive him," Farhan said.

Jiu Jitsu

the FBI said Farook had phone & social media contact w/ international terrorist suspsects --
http://www.inquisitr.com/2607474/syed-farook-was-radicalized-san-bernardino-shooter-in-touch-with-fbi-terror-suspect/

===

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/12/04/investigation-heightens-to-determine-motive-of-san-bernardino-shooting-massacre/

"However, CBS News has learned Farook was possibly radicalized prior to committing the senseless and violent act with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, as he was in contact with people overseas who may be linked to terrorism.

A federal law enforcement official also confirmed to CBS that Malik pledged her allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi using a Facebook alias and later deleted postings.


Police said the couple came into the U.S. in July 2014. At the time, they were not married. Farook and Malik have since wed and had a 6-month-old baby girl while Malik remained on a Visa.

Intelligence sources explained Farook, who was an American citizen employed as an inspector for the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Department, had traveled to Saudi Arabia to apparently attend the Hajj pilgrimage.

The pair were reportedly looking at ISIS propaganda online."

HankP

Patrick -

To be fair, isn't it pretty unusual for terrorists to shoot up their own workplace? The only one I can think of is the Ft. Hood shootings. They usually attack more public places.

That being said, yes, experts should say "We don't know yet" more often. Unfortunately that makes for poor infotainment, media analysis tends to favor the loud and sure over the thoughtful and careful.

David Habakkuk

All,

My apologies for producing yet another comment about the comments on 'MailOnline' reports. But it really is worth reflecting on that site's most recent report on these events, and the reactions of their readers. As I have said before, the 'Mail' represents a very large body of opinion in 'Middle England'.

(For the report and comments, see http://tinyurl.com/hny7ytn .)

One interesting feature of the comments on the report is that they have been moderated – which is not I think the site's normal policy. Another is that the overwhelming preponderance of the 'Best Rated' comments are from the United States.

As with earlier reports on the 'MailOnline' site to which I have linked, however, the really significant point is the complete collapse of confidence in the 'mainstream media' and 'experts'.

Also, while I do not want to present the commenters as beacons of impartial wisdom, it is absolutely clear that those to whom other readers are listening are getting a great deal of information from sources outside the mainstream media – and that a great deal of what they are learning from such sources makes a good deal of sense.

An interesting 'case study' is the comment with the third highest balance of positive ratings, from one 'riograndevalleygirl' in Houston. Cleary addressed to the authors of the article, it reads:

'Stop spreading CAIR propaganda. No one made fun of this guy for his religion and no one has threatened mosques and schools. Fact check these idiot extremists. Don't let them portray themselves as victims. The victims are in morgues and hospitals.

The 'CAIR' is the 'Council of American-Islamic Relations', whose credentials have been discussed in recent exchanges here.

Some conjectures, and then some questions:

Conjecture 1: If the 'MailOneline' posted an analysis like that which 'Patrick Bahzad' has just put up, very many of its readers – both in Britain and the United States – would regard it as something close to 'manna from heaven'.

Conjecture 2: There may be an interesting 'coming together' of currents of opinion in 'Middle Britain' and 'Middle America', made possible by the internet, but also reflecting a range of disquiets which have been building up, on both sides of the Atlantic, for a long time.

Conjecture 3: The fact that people can now comment on articles in the 'mainstream media' has very radical implications. Of course, it is very easy for powerful media organisations simply to avoid having comments on articles, as the BBC habitually does. But to do this is in itself a confession of failure.

The different ways in which this situation impacts on different media organisations is an immensely complicated question. But it is also a critical one. Never underestimate the psychological dependence of journalists on their sense of their audience.

And then, a question – directed to 'Patrick Bahzad', and also in particular others among our 'continental European' correspondents.

Whether or not my interpretations of comments on English-language sites are on the right track, the same issues must arise in relation to what comments on parallel sites in France, Germany, and elsewhere are showing.

So – what do they show?

Patrick Bahzad

Sure, NY would not be in the same league as a community center in a California suburb.
These two shooters were just pawns though, inspired but not directed or instructed to hit anything specific. The people behind them however will be studying this carefully and draw conclusions from what happened and its aftermath.

Herodotus

While this attack, no doubt in my mind, at this time was driven by an Islamic extremism self-radicalization philosophy. I do not believe or see any evidence that these two were supported by ISIS and or AQ.

However, we have not just a threat from Islamic extremism in this Country. We have threats from right and left wing groups as well as drug cartels. The hype on the weapons cache is plainly drama in play by the media. We seem to forget very quickly weapons caches such as;

http://m.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/1026/South-Carolina-police-find-massive-cache-of-more-than-7-000-guns

Which was not related to Islamic terrorism and of which we have no clue to how many people my have been killed by these weapons.

Unfortunately there is also a mistaken belief that after incidents such as this there is no backlash to Arab Americans. That threat is real as well...

http://www.justice.gov/crt/combating-post-911-discriminatory-backlash-6

There is much we have to take up to...


Patrick Bahzad

I disagree. No later than June of this year there was an incident in France (piece about it here on SST), where a radicalized employee beheaded his boss on his way to work and than tried to blow up a chemical plant.
Don't just limit your horizon to what is happening in the US. This thing is global. There are lessons to be learnt from incidents in lots of places. Failure to do so results in failure to prevent attacks.
Also disagree about experts should have said "we don't know". I'm sorry, but if they didn't know with all the evidence that was right in front of them, they souldn't call themselves experts.
I understand they need to be careful in what they're saying, but Bob Baer - for example - made perfect sense and didn't back away from expressing suspicions.

LZA

This seems very odd to me: The female (alleged) assailant weighed only 90 pounds. All reports from the scene indicated two or three white males. Granted information relayed from a shooting is extremely confused, and later proves to be inaccurate. But I just find it very difficult to believe that a 90-pound female could be mistaken for a man. Also, a female of that size could be easily overpowered. Then there is identification of the suspects as white: the male assailant is dark -skinned. I'll be interested to see if any video cameras picked up the shooters. Because I don't see how they can be confident that there are no shooters still at large.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-bernardino-shooting-live-updates-htmlstory.html

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