Few answers but plenty of politics in San Bernardino shooting

Allahpundit hosted the thread last night covering the slaughter in San Bernardino and, as usual, many of the early assumptions about what went on turned out to be entirely wrong. Right out of the gate we should at least pin down what actually is verified, recently updated at NBC News.

At least 14 people were killed and two suspects were dead Wednesday after two people on a mission that authorities described as “possibly terrorism” barged into a holiday party in a California conference room and unleashed a bloodbath…

Seventeen other people were wounded, they said. Authorities said that no motive had been determined and that terrorism had not been ruled out.

That’s short and to the point, eh? We now know that the shooters were Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27. Until we find some sort of manifesto or hear from somebody with direct knowledge of the family and their activities (which may still happen later) we can’t pin anything down to an absolute certainty. There were plenty of clues though. While most of the news media seemed hesitant to mention it last night, Farook is indeed a Muslim who had recently “become more devout” and began growing out his beard a couple of years ago. He traveled to Saudi Arabia recently on a pilgrimage and returned with his new wife, Tashfeen.

Does that make him a terrorist? As I said, if we’re going to be 100% loyal to the facts, we can’t call it a duck yet even if it walks and quacks like one. Also, I had a number of questions running through my mind last night as the scene unfolded, some of which pointed to terrorism, but others were simply baffling. It looked like this wasn’t a lonely, whack job American gunman right from the beginning. First of all, there aren’t usually multiple shooters and there’s almost never any women. Second, the center where the shooting took place had a lot of people outside, in the reception area and in offices leading to the conference room. If this were a massive soft target attack such as we’ve seen at schools and movie theaters, why pass by all those easy targets? The shooters headed to the conference room with what seemed to be a purpose. Then we learned that Farook was a co-worker of the group renting out the facility.

That led me to think it might be a workplace grievance situation. But there’s so much more to it which points the other way. This hit obviously took a lot of planning. This was no spur of the moment griping over not getting enough shrimp cocktail at the holiday party. And the target was a government group, though picking out the county health commission as a terror target would be a darned strange choice. That got me wondering whether or not this could be a combination of the two? A would-be jihadist who wanted to strike a government target, but conveniently enough worked for such an institution where he had a beef with his team? There’s simply no way to know.

But I think there will be a lot more information revealed as the investigation rolls out. For just one juicy example, consider the testimony of a local man who almost reported a number of suspicious individuals near the parents’ house, but didn’t want to racially profile them.

A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people.

“We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What war they doing around the neighborhood?’” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”

So in closing… no. I’m not at the 100% mark yet on figuring out exactly what took place. But that duck is starting to waddle and quack more and more.

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