Gunshots tore through San Bernardino, Calif. as Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked a company Christmas party on Wednesday Dec. 2. The shooting left 14 dead and 21 injured. The suspects were killed after a pursuit and firefight with the police.
Evidence showed the husband and wife team had planned the attack, and that they had dropped off their child at a relative’s house just before arriving at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Furthermore, they had Go-Pro cameras on them, with body armor, extra ammunition and explosives, according to The New York Times. This lends to the narrative that this was a more than a random attack, but one that anticipated a protracted engagement with the police.
The FBI has since found significant links between the perpetrators and the Islamic State group, the notorious terrorist organization that has made repeated threats against the United States and vowed an attack on American soil. These links are so significant, that the FBI has declared this a terrorist attack.
According to The New York Times, Malik declared allegiance to the Islamic State group soon before the attack. However, the terrorist group did not plan this attack. These individuals are believed to have acted on their own, but did so in the name of the Islamic State group.
Authorities have also stated that the couple had an IED facility capable of manufacturing the multiple explosives they found in the possession of the deceased suspects. With the evidence stacking up, it is clear that this was not a spur of the moment attack, but a disciplined act of terror.
According to The New York Times, Farook was a U.S. citizen born in Illinois. Farook had recently visited Saudi Arabia and was a “devout Muslim,” according to his family. He met Malik on a dating website, and in July 2014 he went to Saudi Arabia to marry Malik. The New York Times says Malik was a very private, isolated individual. She always had her head covered, and Farook’s family said they never even saw her whole face.
According to the Diocese of San Bernardino, the Bishop of San Bernardino said, “Please join me in praying for all the victims of this horrific incident and their families… Let us come together now in unity and bring light to the darkness of this day.”
On Sunday night, President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office, which he has not done very often during his two terms as commander in chief. He talked mainly about the fight against terrorism in the Middle East and domestically. According to The New York Times, Obama’s speech was in response to the mass shooting in San Bernardino. He acknowledged that this attack was carried out by radicalized individuals saying, “It is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization.”
Obama was also very clear in saying that the Islamic State group did not direct this attack, these two people acted on their own. According to The Los Angeles Times he said, “So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.”
Obama also took some time during his speech to address gun control. According to whitehouse.gov, Obama wants to make sure no one on a No Fly List is able to buy a gun of any kind. Obama ended by reassuring the American people that the Islamic State will not win, and America will prevail.
Editor’s Note: Information from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and whitehouse.gov was used in this report.