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.
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.
Islamic terrorists have carried out horrific attacks across the City of Light, leaving at least 153 innocent people dead, most of them at a rock concert at the Bataclan concert hall where the California group Eagles of Death Metal were giving a concert. This was the largest of a co-ordinated group of attacks across the city, and there is no certainty that the attacks are over either in France or elsewhere. American Airlines has suspended flights to Paris, but so far no other airlines have followed suit. Yesterday in the US, there were numerous laser attacks on aircraft, but no damage was reported and none of the pilots involved were blinded. Whether this was part of a larger worldwide attack is unknown.
It increasingly appears as if the Russian Metrojet airbus that crashed in the Sinai with the loss of 224 lives on October 31 broke up in flight. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the crash, saying that it destroyed the plane, presumably with a missile. It is not generally believed that ISIS possesses missiles with enough range to reach a plane flying at 33,000 feet. There aren’t any readily available man-launched missiles capable of reaching a plane flying that high, but a number of heavier systems, some light enough to be carried in a pickup truck, could do it.