“Workplace jihad,” huh? That’s an … interesting term. And a step up for this guy. Remember, his first instinct after a mass shooting is to start checking tea-party membership rosters.
I think I see what he’s getting at, though. Maybe Farook is a jihadi who simply chose his own place of business as a soft target. He knew the layout of the building and he knew what sort of security he could expect there. Fox News ran a report late last night suggesting that he may have been at the Christmas party simply to case the place and make sure there’d be no surprises for him once he and his wife started shooting. The alternative, that this is a going-postal workplace rampage by a disgruntled worker who just happens to be a devout Muslim, is increasingly hard to believe. Workplace rampages typically don’t see multiple shooters; if Farook was angry at his boss or the department at large, why was his wife armed to the teeth too? Workplace rampages typically involve shooting and nothing but shooting, but Farook and his wife were stocked up with pipe bombs. A lot of them, too — cops reportedly found a “rollout bag” containing multiple devices in the SUV, raising the ominous question of what Farook was planning to do with those if the plan wasn’t to set all of them off at work. The fact that they were wearing GoPro cameras on their body armor also suggests more of a political motive, to create jihadi propaganda, than a workplace rampage. (But not necessarily. Remember Vester Flanagan?) Although that raises another question: When and how was Farook planning to publish that video?
Maybe the best evidence, though, that this was motivated by a cause rather than a personal grievance is this creepy but otherwise seemingly minor detail:
They abandoned their child? Okay, stop. This was not driven by a workplace dispute.https://t.co/3ieZHE6pqz
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) December 3, 2015
They left their six-month-old baby with Farook’s mother before setting out to attack. It’s awfully hard to imagine a couple orphaning their infant child because they were angry that dad didn’t get a promotion or whatever. It’s not as hard to imagine them doing so if they thought they were serving some greater political or religious good by attacking. There’s also this: “Co-workers described Farook as quiet and polite, and said he had no obvious grudges with anyone in the office.” If there’s a job-related grievance here, where’s the evidence of it?
One more point, via Tom Bevan:
I'm no math genius but: Farook went to Saudi Arabia in spring of this year, returned w/wife and they now have 6-mo old baby?
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) December 3, 2015
Yep, that’s what the media says: Marriage in the spring, six-month-old child now. Maybe the baby was conceived during a previous trip, maybe it’s her baby but not his, or maybe the papers simply have the baby’s age wrong. (Farook supposedly returned from paternity leave “recently.” Would that be true if the baby was six months old?) Given the suspicions here about jihadism, though, maybe the marriage and child were just a cover story for his trip overseas, the real purpose of which was preparing for yesterday. That’s probably the biggest lingering question right now: What’s the true nature of his relationship with his wife? Did they marry for normal reasons and then suddenly become radicalized within the past six months or were they both radicalized beforehand and hooked up with an eye to launching an attack?