San Bernardino Shooting Suspect Visited Saudi Arabia Last Year

December 3, 2015   |   ANTIMEDIA

Crystal James
December 3, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Up to three people stormed San Bernardino County’s Public Health Department holiday party at Inland Regional Center and opened fire Wednesday morning. Seventeen people sustained injuries and 14 people were killed. After the massacre, the shooters fled the scene in a black SUV. Hours after the attack, the car containing two of the suspects was spotted in close proximity to the shooting, which sparked a police chase that barrelled through major parts of the city. A shootout involving at least 20 officers ensued, ending when the two suspects were killed. The two individuals shot were a married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tasheen Malik, 27. The New York Times reported that the third possible suspect was apprehended leaving the scene and is currently in custody.

Farook had previously worked as a health inspector for San Bernardino County’s Public Health Department. On Wednesday morning, he and Malik dropped their 6-month-old daughter off with family, saying they had a doctor’s appointment. There was no doctor’s appointment. Farook attended the County’s Public Health Department holiday party, reportedly storming out and later returning with Malik. They were both dressed for an attack. In addition to masks, the attackers wore “assault-style clothing” and GoPro cameras. The couple had .223-caliber rifles loaded with ammunition designed to penetrate bulletproof vests and walls. After the shooting, bombs were found at the conference center and detonated by police.

It has been confirmed that two of the handguns used in the attack were bought legally.The buyer has not been identified, but is said to be linked to the investigation. This shooting marks  the 15th time President Obama has addressed a mass shooting, and he expressed that he is not happy with “loopholes” in the system when it comes to buying guns. During an interview with CBS, Obama said, “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.” Obama called for tighter gun laws, but  San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis said employing new gun control laws will not stop mass shootings.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Farook was a Muslim U.S. citizen who, government records show, traveled to Saudi Arabia for a month last year. Authorities have not mentioned any link between his trip and this attack, although investigations into Farook and Malik’s background are still underway. Officials have claimed that ongoing investigations will include others who were possibly involved in planning. Considering recent world events, this shooting has left many people questioning whether or not this is an act of terrorism. San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and assistant regional FBI director David Bowdich have both stated that the motive remains unclear and that it has yet to be determined if it was indeed an act of terrorism.

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California held a news conference Wednesday evening where members expressed their sympathies to the victims and their families. The council said, “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.” Aslam Abdullah, a Muslim scholar in the San Bernardino area, told the Los Angeles Times,”It depresses us more than anyone … when someone who identifies with our faith is the suspect.” He went on to say, “The Muslim community does not approve of terror. To associate it with all Muslims would be absurd.”

Over the past year there have been 29 mass shootings in the United States. Do you think new gun laws in the U.S. may help diminish the occurrence of such tragic events?


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