We have often discussed how Islamic extremists seem to recruit mentally ill candidates for terrorist operations. What is most unnerving about the history of the couple is that they appeared to be fully functioning and relatively successful people. However, exposure to extreme elements on the Internet and in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan seemed to unleash a deep hate and latent violence within them. If that is now clear is that San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook came from a family and married a woman with extreme views on Jews and Islam. An Italian newspaper interviewed Farook’s father who offered his own bizarre take on the world. In the meantime, more is being learned about the entry of Tashfeen Malik, who married Syed Rizwan Farook after meeting him online and coming to the U.S. on a fiance visa – including this entry photograph.
Syed Farook, who lives in Corona, California, said that he was aware that his son idolized the ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and embraced the call for an Islamic caliphate. He added that his son “was also obsessed with Israel.”
Now her is the twisted take the father: “I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore . . . Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China and America don’t want Jews there anymore. They are going to bring the Jews back to Ukraine. What is the point of fighting? We have already done it and we lost. Israel is not to be fought with weapons, but with politics. But he did not listen to me, he was obsessed . . . I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist anymore.”
The father’s ex-wife and the mother of his children, Rafia, said in divorce papers in 2006 that her then-husband “is mentally ill and is on medication but is also an alcoholic and drinks with the medicine.”
Tashfeen Malik appears equally deranged after being radicalized in religious schools in Pakistan. Malik, 29, was from to a wealthy family in Pakistan’s southern Punjab province that moved to Saudi Arabia. She would later study pharmacology in Pakistan in 2007. She also studied at Al Huda, a chain of religious institutes, on a daily basis. Authorities are focusing on a period from roughly 2007 to 2014 that she spent in her native Pakistan. Officials are probing her ties to an extremist and influential imam in Islamabad at the infamous “Red Mosque.”
The mosque’s infamous cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz, has generated Islamic extremists from a chain of radical schools. There appears no atrocity that is not beyond the pale for the cleric. He attracted international attention when he refused to denounce the Peshawar school attack that left 148 people dead, including 100 children. Instead, he referred to it as “an understandable response” to the government’s campaign against the Taliban and affiliated groups.
Officials are also interested in a mysterious $28,500 deposit in the couple’s bank account shortly before the attack.