San Bernardino shooting: Attacker's father says son was 'Isis supporter'

'He shared the ideology of al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic State'

Alexandra Sims
Monday 07 December 2015 15:30
Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook
Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook

A gunman involved in a mass-shooting in Southern California was “fixated” with Israel and supported Isis’ ideology of establishing an Islamic caliphate, according to his father.

Speaking to Italian newspaper La Stampa, Syed Rizwan Farook’s father revealed details about his son who, along with his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27, stormed a Christmas party at the Inland Regional Center carrying semiautomatic weapons and killing 14 people last week.

Mr Farook said: “He shared the ideology of al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic State, and he was fixated on Israel,” referring to Isis’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He also recalled a time when he became “angry” after seeing his 28-year-old son with a gun: “In 45 years in the United States, I yelled I have never had a weapon. He shrugged his shoulders and replied, ‘You’re loss'”.

“I cannot forgive myself. Maybe if I had been at home, I would have found out and stopped him,” he added.

Mr Farook said he was in disbelief over his son’s alleged actions. His daughters previously told the New York Times they had seen no warning signs indicating he would carry out the attack.

Mr Farook’s comments come after the FBI announced they are investigating the massacre as a possible terror attack and reports emerged alleging Malik had pledged allegiance to Isis on social media.

Comments praising Isis were supposedly posted on a Facebook page established under an alias by Mailk around the time of the shooting, however it is uncertain whether these were posted by Malik herself or by someone with access to her account, Reuters reports.

Isis have since claimed the married couple were supporters of the extremist group, praising them as “martyrs” in a bulletin on the group’s Al-Bayan radio station.

President Barack Obama has spoken out about the growing concerns amongst Americans in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

In a speech from the Oval Office, President Obama denounced the shootings as an “act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people.”

He added the Department of State and Homeland Security will now review the visa waiver program that allowed 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik to travel to the US.

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