Concocted workplace violence narrative doesn’t work in San Bernardino attack
While authorities are officially saying that they do not have a clear motive for the murder of 14 people in San Berdardino, CA, one is being concocted by the media – and it doesn’t hold up.
The media is continually talking up the man “storming out” after some sort of disagreement at the Christmas party he was attending with co-workers. Then, a short time later, he returns with his wife and shoots up the place killing 14 and wounding 17 more before getting into a shoot-out with police and getting killed.
You see… it’s workplace violence.. or something.
Unfortunately, this false narrative struggles when a basic tool of journalism is applied – the timeline.
The morning of the shooting, Farook and his wife dropped their child off at his mother’s house with a lie that they had a doctor’s appointment to get to. That would be before the argument, shooting, murders, or much of anything else. It shows forethought and planning – not a hot-headed response to something someone said that might have offended him at the party.
Next, did his co-worker’s actions so madden him as to drive to the local tactical shop, buy two full sets of tactical clothing and body armor, then run home and convince his brand new bride to kit up and go kill some people that offended him? No. Again, forethought and planning. He had these items ready to go and was likely just giving himself an excuse for leaving the party early – or not being there when the police start asking questions after the shooting. He didn’t expect to get caught so fast.
The shooters were also reported to be wearing GoPro head-mounted cameras. First, that shows an expectation to do something and get away with it for at least long enough to upload the footage to wherever so that it could be used for propaganda. Second, it again .. shows forethought and planning (this is getting repetitive.) ISIS commonly uses GoPro cameras to capture propaganda footage.
Now we learn that there were pipe bombs in a roll-up bag in the SUV. Those were reportedly constructed in an IED-making facility in Syed’s home. I am fairly certain that the average American worker doesn’t have space carved away in the home for that. Any guesses on if he just threw that facility together after a co-worker offended him?
This took weeks, if not months of planning. Syed’s co-workers were a target of opportunity – he knew where a large group of infidels would be having a party celebrating a Christian holiday – on that day, at that time.
So back to that whole timeline thing:
He dropped off his child, went to the party, feigned anger at whatever to give him an alibi for having left, went home, suited up with the wifey and took a well-stocked urban tank (SUV) with heavily tinted windows back to the party to do what they had been planning since his trip to the Middle-East earlier this year, went back home, realized the cops figured him out quicker than expected, decided to go out in a blaze of martyristic glory.
Call it workplace violence if you must, but definitions are everything – call it Radical Islamic Workplace Violence or Workplace Islamic Jihad .. anything less is a little ignorant at best, propaganda at worst.