December 3, 2015

JIM GERAGHTY: So How Much of this ‘Hybrid’ Attack Was Jihadism?

Yesterday the country got the perfect Rorschach test of violence. People who want to downplay violent Islamist jiahdism and self-radicalization among American-born Muslims will see “workplace violence” or an excuse for another gun control push. Others will contend this is an Islamist sleeper cell, even if it isn’t formally set up by ISIS or al-Qaeda.

CNN summarizes what is known about Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik:

Police say Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, are either married or in a relationship. The Council on American Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, said Farook has been married for two years — but wouldn’t confirm whether Malik was the wife’s name.

Farook and his wife left their 6-month-old girl with Farook’s grandmother Wednesday and said they had a doctor’s appointment.

They abandoned their child? Okay, stop. This was not driven by a workplace dispute. To leave your infant child and then commit horrific violence that is likely to lead to your death from police action requires an almost otherworldly devotion to . . . some other cause, something you consider more important than life, death, and the inherent biological urge to protect your offspring. “Larry from accounting keeps taking the last doughnut at staff meetings” or “they took my red Swingline stapler” isn’t the sort of motive at work here.

What motivation have we seen that would make seemingly ordinary people go on mass-murdering attacks? What ideology or twisted religious fervor have we seen people willing to sacrifice their children for, willing to die for?

Plus, Jim quotes a report nothing the presence amidst the IEDs, and the “tactical clothing, including vests stuffed with ammunition magazines,” “the couple also had GoPro cameras strapped to their body armor.” As Jim adds, “That’s the sort of thing you bring if you want to make videos to terrorize other people, and rally others to their cause or ideology . . . it also would explain why they left the scene instead of staying to shoot it out with police at the social services facility. They intended to live to tell the tale, at least for a while.”

Read the whole thing.