Thursday, December 3, 2015

Random Terror/Violence in USA More Frightening than Israel

IM very HO* the random violence, terror, shooting etc. which have been happening more and more in the United States is much more frightening than the Arab terrorists who have been attacking innocent Jews in Israel.

My husband, children (including a young grandchild,) children-in-law and I all have tickets to go to the states next month for an important family simcha (joyous event.) Between the flying (which always makes me nervous) and the news from America, I am totally convinced that  it is much safer here in Israel.

Rescue crews tend to the injured in the intersection outside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California in this still image taken from video December 2, 2015.
Reuters/ via Reuters

Read more at Reuters

When I got home from work late last night, my husband had the news on, and that's how I heard of the most probably a Muslim terrorist attack in California. He was getting very annoyed at the wishy-washy inexact, most probably strongly censored, reporting.

The authorities don't seem to know much about the terrorists/attackers. Now, even if the shooters do not have a political/religious/anarchist agenda, aren't they still to be considered terrorists? It's not very reassuring to see how totally out of control the American police and military are when faced with these serious security challenges.

Police officers conduct a manhunt after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California December 2, 2015. (photo credit:REUTERS)
To think that America is sending super-advanced war equipped tanks like this to find a couple of civilian terrorists, shooters (or whatever you want to call them) seems rather absurd. Let's use that favorite word of the Americans, "disproportionate." It's also a lot of overkill and not very subtle and most probably not effective at all.

Generally terrorists/criminals etc like these are best found through undercover ops and simple research. Anyone with the mentality to shoot into a crowd and murder like that couple did won't rush out to surrender to tanks ripping up the roads.

Thank Gd the escape vehicle was found, and the terrorists were shot dead.
FBI says California shooting 'possible terrorism'Two slain suspects in mass shooting identified as Syed Farook & Tashfeen Malik; Farook's estranged father says he was a 'religious Muslim.' (Arutz 7)
That is what should be the ending of these stories. The big problem is that attacks like these are happening all over the world. No long can anyone safely say that their hometown or workplace is immune. This is life in the 21st Century. And it's no longer accurate to avoid visiting Israel because of terrorism. No place is safer, because you never know where they will strike next.

*IMHO =in my humble opinion


Netivotgirl said...

BRILLIANT post Batya! Spot on and I agree with every word! I'm sharing this! Too bad all the expats in Israel can't give their advice after years of living under the threat of terror here in Israel to the "movers and the shakers" back in the USA. Bravo!

Sammy Finkelman said...

His name is well called Farook, because he wss far-rooked.

But he didn't get that way on his own, and he didn't act alone, or just with his wife, if his wife was even a shooter. All witnesses agreed that there were three shooters.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The public release of information has been pretty bad.

The authorities sound like they are almost ready to say it was done by only two people, which is not correct. Nor did Farook make enough money to buy all those cars and guns by himself.

He had just come off 6 months paternity leave which gave him a lot of time to plan. Perhaps he was the leader.

He was what is called in Judaism a "ba'al teshuva" and that can mean something terrible for Moslems. Almost every terrorist is a "ba'al teshuva" (or you might say a "born-again" Muslim) or convert

He became religious about two years ago, then went to Saudi Arabia for an arranged mariage with a girl from Qatar. He probably really went to get terrorist training or get recruited, with the marriage as a cover story.

We know about Qatar:

The country has been called “the Club Med for Terrorists”[1] and “most two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment, in the words of one top American official, for terrorist financiers to operate with impunity.”[2] ...

.. At the official level, the Qatari government pledged support for Hamas, the Palestinian group designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, Egypt and Canada.[4]

... In September 2014, a diplomat in Qatar told the media that between 8 and 12 “key figures in Qatar” were raising millions of pounds for jihadist fighters for Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.[8]

In December 2014, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Congressman Pete Roskam (R-IL) requested that the U.S. government, in a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, impose sanctions on Qatar. The two congressman asked for a full report on activities within Qatar from individuals, charities and organizations that fund Hamas, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the al-Nusra Front.[9][10]

Sammy Finkelman said...

No way was this a spontaneous decision, altough it is possible something caused someone to jump the gun. A very elaborate plot with some elements of a cover-up in place seems to be the best idea, and and the cover-up may be working. The cell has not been smashed, but if the authorities act like it has, the cover-up is working.

Syed Farook was identified as a result of a tip. It is not clear where that tip came from - the only thing known is that he had an argument there and he left. And maybe that he and his wife were dressed the same way the shooters were, and armed, when they were killed. They had driven off from his home, because the police got a tip to go to the home, where he lived with his mother, sister, wife and new baby daughter.

The shooters had go pros, to take video, and there was more than enough time to upload the video to some terrorist web site, so maybe we'll see it.

I think Syed Farook may even have not been one of the 3-person assault team. Maybe he as their leader.

It was reported that the car the attackers drove off on was not parked there while they were doing it but it was driven there. That would probably also mean they were in telephone contact and maybe soemone was scanning police radio. They left before the police arrived.

Sammy Finkelman said...

It's not clear what the argument that sued Farook had at the Holiday banquet (the attack took place at a holiday party hat eh attended last year) was about. It could have been staged.

It would be very hard to believe the attack was a spontaneous decision, so we're left with:

A) It's a coincidence and he had nothing to with the assault (unlikely if he was armed with the same weapons and so on.)

B) He was part of the plot, but the argument was a coincidence.

C) It was staged.

One thing that occurs to me is: If he knew what was coming and had let some people in, he might want to get out of there but have a good excuse for leaving.

Or maybe he might have been the driver of the getaway car.

In that case, since he couldn't know exactly when it would end, he must have been in telephone (cellphone) contact, probably via text with one or more of the killers.

Otherwise what? Did he leave and put on his uniform, and bring in his two companions? If so, why come there openly n the first place? What do you need that for? To scout things out?

Q. How much time elapsed between when he left and when the shooting started?

We'll know more, and can eliminate and downgrade and upgrade possibilities..

Sammy Finkelman said...

This looks like Islamic terrorism and perhaps even what ISIS was claiming it was going to do - in which case this would actually be a minor plot, while there are other plots in the works.

You can, of course, think of other possibilities - non-ISIS jihadists, an unaffiliated group, people against "the government", or even people against vaccinations, but a very elaborate plot related to ISIS, with this being a target of opportunity, seems to be the best idea.

The target would have been chosen more because it was ready at hand and available and the layout was known, than because someone thought this was the best kind of target. In Israel Arab terrorists sometimes do this sort of thing at or near their place of work.

It is not at all clear to me that the suspicious house with men coming and going is the same house where Farouk lived with his wife, sister, baby and mother. And his car is also not the getway car - wasn't that found abandoned, or was that mistake?

Initially hey arretsed a third man but later let him go.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Maybe the wife is not from Qatar, but from Pakistan. In any case her name, Tashfeen Malik, doesn't sound like any real name and be a false name, or a legally changed name. That could mean she is somebody's cousin or daughter, somebody associated with something no good.

There's also a problem with who are the parents of that child or how old she is. The child is 6 months old, yet he supposedly married her in Saudi Arabia - maybe even supposedly met her - after the child was conceived.

Here's another thing about his wife's legal English name:

Tashfeen Malik (King) is a nom de guerre for a Muslim Jihadist from the annals of Muslim history. As he is known to Muslims “تاشفين ملك الموحدين” Tashfeen Malik Al-Muahideen, in English: Tafhseen King of the Unitarians (Muslims) and the conquerer of the west. The history stems from when Yusuf ibn Tashfin led the Muslim forces in the Battle of Zallaqa/Sagrajas. He came to Andalusia from Morocco to help the Muslims fight against Alfonso VI, eventually achieving victory and allowing the Muslims to remain in Spain for centuries. The battle has been symbolic for Muslim victory against the Christians.

This is a hallmark of ISIS. Another hallmark is that Farook was a devout Muslim, but rarely discussed religion at work. Mr. Farook, 28, born in Illinois and who had Pakistani origins.

So he's from Pakistan, too. There's one problem.

Pakistan is associated with Original al Qaeda ® ™ not ISIS/ISIL/Saesh/"the Islamic State - although they've been setting up shop in Afghanistan. But the head os isis in the region was just killed last month by the Taliban.

Well, maybe it is all the same. These organizations aren't all that far apart, especially heir sponsors.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Malik, I think, is a name that is used in Pakistan. I think there was onmce an Ambassador Malik in the 1960s or maybe.

In fact, there's man wit that name right now:

Tafsheen could maybe be an original name, but it would only be given to a daughter by a very unusual father, probably in the army.

Sammy Finkelman said...

When hey left the six-month old with the grandmother, they said they were going to a doctor's appointment. That was in the morning before anything happened. When she heard about the shooting, and couldn't reach her son, the grandmother got worried. But that's according to the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

The communications with people being investigated for terrorism may have been discovered only yesterday, when looking through old records.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Update as a result of watching the CBS Evening News. (ast night the show had been extended to one hour and we had one hour of almost nothing about just one thing)

1. They seem to be saying there were only two shooters, but it is not explained why. Last night CBS reported all the witnesses, or numerous witnesses were saying three. At least they are not looking for anybody else. That part is true.

2. Seyd Farook was indeed there earlier and he left, but there's no mention now of an argument - maybe they just are uncertain about the details of what happened before he left.

3. There were two cars. The one driven to the attack site was rented. What I had before about the car being driven there to take them away, I only had from a blog comment, and I don't know the original source. THe assertion a car was driven there while the shooting was in progress is weak.

4. Syed Farook visited Saudi Arabia two times, the first time in 2013, for the haj, and Pakistan once in July, 2014.

[Note: He is supposed to have met his wife in Saudi Arabia. There was also the report he met her online. Maybe this was a tale he told to disguise how he did indeed meet her or was introduced to her. She may have been here on a fiance visa that had not been changed. It is not entirely clear whether or how she married him.
Nobody seems to be casting doubt on the fact she gave birth to a baby girl 6 months ago.

It isn't clear to me whether they were living in separate quarters from his mother and sister.]

5. The year Syed graduated college is 2010, and not either 2003 or 2013.

6. They had plenty of explosives and more guns, enough for more aad deadlier events. At home there were several pipe bombs and more explosives for pipe bombs. They took a bomb with them to the killing site. That was supposed to be triggered by a remore control for a toy car, but it didn't work.

This should not be such a surprise.

There is this idea that building bombs can be learned through the Internet, but it is not true. Amateurs will either build a dud, or it will explode prematurely. This happened with the Weathermen, Puerto Rican terrorists etc. Even in Cacutta in 1993. Terry Nichols had to go to the Phillipines in 1994 to learn how to build the Oklahoma City bomb. His previous test explosions in Michigan had gotten nowwhere.

If you pay attention you will read this or verfiy this time and time again.

That's why Israel could kill a bombmaker and then after that there were no more suicide belts. It is not that the terrorists did not have explosives available.

I read something that backed this up on Tuesday in a separate article in the New York Times:

They also found the precursor chemicals for the explosive triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, [in Verviers, Belgium in January] according to the document, which was the same chemical compound used in the suicide belts in Paris. The compound is highly volatile, according to Claude Moniquet, who spent two decades at the French spy agency D.G.S.E. “If you don’t get it just right, you’ll either blow off your hand, or it won’t go off at all,” Mr. Moniquet said. “It suggests the presence of a bombmaker.”

Same thing happened here. The bomb didn't go off. They erred on the side of safety. (for themselves)

7. The woman wasa firing at the police at least. She - if that was her - also shot people as they tried to escape from the building.

8. One of the persons killed did not work for the county, but owned a coffee shop in the building.

9. Two law enforcement officers were wounded in the shootout 4 hours later, not one.

Batya said...

NG thanks
Sammy wow thanks for all the valuable info

Marcel Cousineau said...

Hi Batya,
It's been many years.
You were the one who encouraged me to star with my old blog back in June 2005.
It's hard to stop, so after a 2 year break I'm back.

Here in the new America of dopes and change, the Washington, District of Criminals
are more concerned about protecting the Islamic terrorists whom they refuse to identify. CNN 'experts' told the public before the ISLAMIC terrorists were gunned down that they were most likely Militia, white, Christian terrorists.
America is very sick and on life support as the Holy One of Israel now brings His severe judgments on the land that threw Him out.
Now darkness fills the void in America.. and this is why the evil one Obama is planning to import MILLIONS of the followers of the false prophet.

It's time for mourning ,sackcloth and ashes in America.
Marcel in Florida

Sammy Finkelman said...

I ahve alot of corrections and clarifications and additions to make, - I wroote down notes - but there is no time now.

I still don't know where the initial tip came form that directed the police to the (rented) house. They had moved there at about the time the baby was born. The mother of Sayd Farook had also sold the house in May - but a package for her was seen by reporters on the porch after the massacre.

Syed Farook had a brother with almost the same name. He had the same first name, last name and middle initial. They went by their middle names. That brother's picture was shown on the media. The father was also called Syed Farook. The older brother had been in the Navy and was now working for the Calif tax department. He lived wih the fathee. A sister lived with the mother and there was another sister. There was a bitter divorce around 2006 to 2008.

They destroyed 2 relatively new cellphones - smashed and left by garbage near "one of the crime scenes." Their computer had a hard drive missing. They had deleted e-mail accounts (but they were probably recovered by police) This all happened the day before. The rented car was due back that day, and had been rented 3 days before.

Syed had a Twitter account on which he never tweeted but followed organizations linked to the Moslem Brotherhood and Hamas etc. The wife had a Facebook acocunt under a different name and one day pledged her allegiance to ISIS but - apparently - deleted it very soon, maybe after someone she wanted to see it saw it. That needs some clarification.

Syed returned to the party about 20 or 40 minutes or maybe 30 minutes after he left. There was no argument - just a puzzled person who attended it. He left when it was just ready to get going.

There's more to add.

Batya said...

Marcel, nice to hear.
Sammy, I have not been up on the news. I haven't been by computer or tv much of late. Thanks for the info.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I have delayed updating and correcting this. And every time I wait I find things to correct in what I wanted to write. There are all sorts of edetails coming out - something new every day.

Batya said...

Whenever you can it is appreciated.

Sammy Finkelman said...

It's getting almost hard to keep all the facts straight. Noit some of the main corrections, but some details.

Anyway let me correct a few things: (although I;ll still be elacing ot some very important details)

I wrote:

"The wife had a Facebook acocunt under a different name and one day pledged her allegiance to ISIS but - apparently - deleted it very soon, maybe after someone she wanted to see it saw it. That needs some clarification."

That Facebook post was put up just before the attack. I'm not so sure she was the one who did it. It was discovered by Facebook itself on Wednesday December 2 (the day of the attack) because she had linked her Facebook account to an e-mail address she had once used.

Nobody reported it. Facebook took it down itself. Facebook did not take it down right way. This must be because they must have wanted to know what the FBI wanted to do - maybe it had some investigatory value. They took it down the next day, Thursday, December 2

The media still doesn't have the exact text of the proclamation of allegiance to ISIS - even what language it was in, or what was the term she used for ISIS or Baghdadi, or what was the name on the account. Or anything about the history of the e-mail address it was linked to.

Or the exact time of the post and if it is consistent with her doing it right before the attack, i.e., how does it fit in with the timeline?

We learned only after a few days that that it wasn't in the singular but in the plural "We" (taht is both of them or all of them) pledged allegiance or whatever it was.

That Facebook page might have had some real value but the FBI wasn't being thorough right away in this case. They were all ready to say it was just two people acting alone, nothing bigger. They just did one search warrant for the apartment in a townhouse that they lived in, and handed the property over to the landlord Thursday night December 2. he opened it up to reporters on Friday charging them $1,000 (each, or the group?)

There were still some personal stuff there, even some shredded paper and a list of itens the FBI had taken)

Today the news is that the FBI is searching al ake nearby, and that (Maybe?) they were seen there between the time of the killings and the time of the police raid on their home. There is speculation that they are searching for their hard disk because they were maybe seen discarding something into the lake. So it is not clear when they removed the hard drive. Planning to do so only after the murders is strange. I mean if they were going to discard it, you'd think they'd do it before, because they might nto get away. Or if they thought they would get away why then in the immediate aftermath, throw away the hard drive? It is not after they found out their names were known. I think maybe they threw away something else into the lake.
So the story is unclear here.

They fled because the first two policemen on the scene stood outside waitinmgh for back-up before they would go in. It was supposed to be a carefully thought out raid so they took their two cellphones and smashed them and discarded them and escaped in their own SUV (not the rented Ford which had been abandoned)

They are also looking into Enrique Maraquez. He's the childhood friend of Syed Rizwan Farook who lived next door to him while they lived in Riverside, and bought the two rifles used to do the killings. They were bought 2 to 4 years before. Farook, by the way has an oldere brother also named Syed Farook but his middle name is different. Marquez checked himself into a mental hospital after the killings. His home has been searched twice. he maybe converted to islam or maybe de-converted He married the killer's brotehr's wife - or maybe that was a sham marriage.

Sammy Finkelman said...

It's Enrique Marquez

Batya said...

The grandmother could be lying about not knowing what they had planned.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The woman's sister in Pakistan seems to be lying, although maybe with a careful reading of what she said and what someone in the U.S. leaked, you can reconcile the two sources.


In a brief telephone interview on Saturday, the sister, Fehda Malik, said Tashfeen Malik was not an extremist, and she rejected the allegations against her sister.

“I am the one who spent most of the time with my sister,” she said. “No one knows her more than me. She had no contact with any militant organization or person, male or female.”

She said her sister was religious, studied the Quran and prayed five times a day. “She knew what was right and what was wrong,” Fehda Malik said. She added that the family was “very worried and tense,” before hanging up the phone.

On social media, Fehda Malik has made provocative comments of her own. In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, she posted a remark on Facebook beside a photo of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center that could be interpreted as anti-American.

But now it's reported:


CBS News has learned that Malik had private chats on Facebook with her sister where she pledged support for violent jihad and said she wanted to participate. These post began before Malik came to the United States and continued after she arrived.

Now, note, all that her sister denies is that her sister had contact with any militant (= terrorist) organization or person. Or at least taht she didn't know of any. So you could reconcile what she said with reality or at least with her state of knowledge. But she might need to deny that to protect herself.

I am not sure how the United States government would have gotten these private posts. Does Facebook save them? Was there some collecting and archiving that nobody ever looked at? Did it come from the NSA or from the Pakistani government? Or were they simply still in the sister's account this month, and not deleted, or recently deleted, and so retrievable by Facebook?

Batya said...

That entire family cannot be trusted.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Some parts of the family more than others, especially her side.

There is some more news, and corrections. They keep coming.

First, the FBI says, no, she didn't post anything on a public forum on social media - they were actually private messages.

The FBI Director held a press conference to, among other things, correct the leaks, but still would not say what was the particular Internet service provider that was used, saying only that it was "one of the very common Internet service providers that provides email service and direct message.”

But in describing them as "Direct Private messages" it sounds like Twitter.

So it was on Twitter that she wrote to her sister that she wanted to participate in violent jihad.

It is not clear that there actually is nothing else the FBI found or heard secondhand about.

Comey also said that the FBI had found no evidence that the couple were part of larger cell or were being directed by terrorists overseas.

That means it is maybe possible to understand it that way. On;y certain kinds of things would be called "evidence."

Sammy Finkelman said...

Also yesterday, (Thrsday) Enrique Marquez was indicted for 3 separate crimes. They say (I think) that Marquez had no idea what was going to happen now

And theer's atimeline which i think should cause trouble for the idea that Tashfeen Malik poste dthe pledge of allegiance to ISIS herself

Batya said...

Do the american authorities have a clue?