San Bernardino Jihadis Strapped GoPros to Their Body Armor
The Times said that the deeply religious Farook had traveled to Saudi Arabia for about a month this past spring and came back to the U.S. with a wife that he had met online.
Like the devout Muslims who opened fire on the Jewish day school in France, the jihad couple also had GoPro cameras strapped to their body armor and wore tactical clothing, including vests stuffed with ammunition magazines.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan identified the suspects as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. Burguan said that Farook was born in the U.S. and worked at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. Family members told the Associated Press the pair were married.
Patrick Baccari, a co-worker of Farook who suffered minor wounds from shrapnel slicing through the building’s bathroom walls, told the Associated Press he been sitting at the same table as Farook at the banquet Wednesday morning, but his co-worker suddenly disappeared, leaving his coat on his chair. Baccari also said that Farook had traveled to Saudi Arabia for about a month this past spring.
When he came back, word got around Farook had been married, Baccari said, and the woman he described as a pharmacist joined him shortly afterward. The couple had a baby later this year. Baccari added that the reserved Farook showed no signs of unusual behavior, although he grew out his beard several months ago.
FOX: Law enforcement officials said they could not rule out terrorism as a possible motive. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was aiding in the investigation. A law enforcement source told Fox News that the couple were carrying AR-15 rifles and pistols when they were shot and killed by police after a brief chase in their black SUV Wednesday afternoon. The source said the vehicle also contained so-called “rollout bags” with multiple pipe bombs. The couple also had GoPro cameras strapped to their body armor and wore tactical clothing, including vests stuffed with ammunition magazines.
The source told Fox News the couple were using “military tactics” and were “prepared for a sustained fight.”
WSJ: Mr. Farook, a U.S. citizen, traveled to Saudi Arabia last year, according to government records. Authorities don’t automatically attach any importance to that trip, but they are investigating his background, the officials said.
David Bowdich, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Los Angeles office, said terrorism “is a possibility, but we don’t know that yet, and we’re not willing to go down that road yet.”
Mr. Farook’s brother in law, Farhan Khan, said during a news conference held by Muslim leaders in Orange County, Calif. Wednesday evening that he was shocked by Mr. Farook’s alleged actions.
“I cannot express how sad I am about what happened,” said Mr. Khan, who is married to Mr. Farook’s sister, adding, “I am in shock that something like this could happen.”
He spoke in a barely-audible voice and appeared stunned. He declined to provide additional details about Mr. Farook.
Islamic leaders at the press conference, held at the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, denounced the attack.
“The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.
Grizelda Reisinger said she had worked with Mr. Farook as a health department field inspector. “He was very under the radar,” she recalled. “He didn’t really talk to anybody.”
The shooting erupted in a conference room of the Inland Regional Center, according to Marybeth Feild, president of the center’s board. The facility provides services to more than 30,000 developmentally disabled people and their families, according to its Facebook page.
By nightfall, the 17 people wounded during the shooting were at local hospitals and police had lifted a neighborhood lockdown after a long, terrifying day. The suspects’ gun battle with police broke out about five hours after the mass shooting, back in San Bernardino on a residential street 2 miles from the initial crime scene.
Police and federal agents in San Bernardino, the Southern California city where the violence occurred around 11 a.m., said the motive for the attack was still unknown.
There were reports that someone may have left the holiday party in anger, then possibly returned, police said. “Somebody did leave but we have no idea if that is the person who came back. There was some type of dispute or something,” Mr. Burguan said.
Based on witness statements, law-enforcement officials suspect one of the perpetrators was at the event, got into an argument, and then returned with at least one other person.
The suspects burst in wearing masks and firing rifles. At least one witness believed they recognized one of the shooters from the earlier confrontation, according to an official close to the probe.
Later in the day, live television coverage showed three armored law-enforcement vehicles surrounding a dark SUV riddled with bullet holes and with the back window shattered.
A police officer also suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the shootout, officials said. Authorities didn’t release information on the suspects’ ages, and said they didn’t know their relationship.
In the evening, federal agents entered a house in Redlands, 7 miles away, where the suspects were believed to have retreated after the shooting. Police tracked them there on a tip, then pursued them when they left the house, engaging them in a shootout on the street.
Law-enforcement officials said they were just starting what would be a long investigation, and were searching for others who may have been involved in planning the attack.
Loma Linda University Medical Center, where some of the injured were taken, was searched after a bomb threat following the shooting, officials said. Five adults were hospitalized with injuries, two were in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, families who had gathered at a meeting place to be reunited with loved ones were told to take cover after reports of shots being fired. County and city buildings, as well as hospitals and schools were locked down, and employees were told to shelter in place for hours—an eerie echo of a mass shooting that had unfolded days earlier in Colorado Springs.
The incident launched a massive manhunt
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