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.
While Islamic State is infamous for it’s horrific attacks causing the deaths of untold numbers of innocent people worldwide, their endeavors in the realm of cyberterrorism aren’t as well known. These efforts, while ambitious, are not as effective, according to U.S. authorities. And now, an unlikely cyber-combatant in the fight against ISIS has declared war on them on this front.
ISIS released a videotaped message today threatening an attack on Washington DC, and warning that all countries involved in the war against the terror group are liable to attack. In the US, heightened airport security is being instituted, and a flight from Washington to Boston was evacuated, with two passengers questioned and then released. Crew members reported that the two passengers had been behaving in a suspicious manner. It has been known among security specialists that groups planning terror attacks will often prepare by testing procedures this way. Passengers throughout the US are being asked to be especially vigilant, and to report anything that seems out of character.
According to a poll carried out by ICM for the Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, 16% of French citizens and 24% of French youth 18-24 are "sympathetic" to the aims of ISIS. Meanwhile, French president Francois Hollande’s approval rating is just 18%. The same poll showed that 6% of British and 4% of Germans support ISIS, with that support tending to skew older rather than younger. Newsweek’s France Correspondent, Anne-Elizabeth Moutet, said, “This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds, unemployed to the tune of 40%, who’ve been deluged by satellite TV and internet propaganda.” The increase in anti-semitism in France is also believed due to the size of the Muslim population group.