The FBI has now confirmed that the attack in San Bernardino, California on December 2 was an act of terrorism, but apparently not ordered by any terror group. The two attackers were a married couple with a six month old child who they have left an orphan. The couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik did not fit the image of poverty and frustration that supposedly breeds terrorist sympathies. Rather, they were a middle class couple with community standing. Mr. Farook was a US citizen born in Illinois and Ms. Malik was a Pakistani who had been raised in Saudi Arabia. They met and became engaged online.
The couple had numerous weapons and ineptly constructed pipe bombs, and seem to have been planning their attack for some time. There is no evidence that they were ordered to do so by any terror organization, but rather that they acted out of sympathy with ISIS. Using a pseudonym, Ms. Malik had posted a statement promising loyalty to ISIS on Facebook, which was retrieved by FBI investigators. When she applied in Pakistan for a visa to enter the United States, she passed a background check. At that time, she had apparently not made any terrorist sympathies evident, therefore there was no way to determine that her inmost thoughts were sympathetic to terror.
But why was it like this? Why would a middle class couple with a baby give up their lives and leave the welfare of their child to strangers in order to commit a mass killing? Whitley Strieber has posted a journal entry on this website called "the Why of Islamic Terrorism" which explores the reasons that some Muslims are inspired to commit violent acts on behalf of their religion. To read it, click here.