BUENA PARK/REDLANDS, CA – While investigations move swiftly into the horrific attack of Dec.2 in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead, and more comes to light of the twisted thinking of the Pakistani origin couple Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook, the Indian-American community might well be feeling...
was told about “paint” on the parking lot walls of the temple. After reviewing it, he placed a non-emergency call to the police and headed to take a look at the closed circuit cameras. What he saw was alarming.
While the cameras did not capture any person, the offensive truck had been parked on Dec. 5 night and had been rolled out of there the following morning. When police arrived they had at first been inclined to treat it as gang graffiti which is common in the area, says Singh, but with the pictures of the truck, a complaint was filed.
Officer Carter of the BPPD said the graffiti which was on the walls “SSPB13” was the marking of a Hispanic gang South Side Buena Park 13 and was in the colors that the gang usually used. Police at this point will not be treating it as a hate incident he said.
The gurdwara though, working with the Sikh Coalition, is attempting to flag it officially as a hate incident. Singh said the reason is so that law enforcement would understand clearly, “we want security and we are scared.” The gurdwara will also be asking for increased policing and Officer Carter said, that increased patrolling was possible just as soon as the request was officially made. At the time of going to press the gurdwara was also in the process of asking for police personnel to be on the premises.
Meanwhile, Singh said, the gurdwara will be rushing the printing of banners which had been planned in the aftermath of the shootings which will carry words of sympathy for the victims. He also said, the congregation would be pushed to understand to, “proactively watch, be alert but not scared,” to worship at the gurdwara.” At the Norco gurdwara, temple officials said a request had been made after the shootings and police had responded with increased presence.
Killer Went to India
Another India related aspect of the shooting that was brought to the media, was the reiteration of Saudi officials that the Pakistani woman may have travelled to India from Saudi Arabia in 2013.
Denying that Tashfeen Malik, 27, spent much time in the kingdom, Major General Mansour Turki, a spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry told the New York Times she visited only twice, for a few months in total.
In 2008, she arrived in June from Pakistan to visit her father and stayed for about nine weeks before returning to Pakistan. Then, in 2013, she arrived on June 8 from Pakistan, and departed for India on October 6 of the same year, he said.
He gave her full name as Tashfeen Malik Gulzarahmed Malik and said his office did not know whether her father was still in the kingdom. Contradictory claims have emerged from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia about Malik, as both the countries seek to clear themselves from playing any role in radicalising the woman.
But the estranged relatives of Tashfeen Malik, say she and her father seem to have abandoned the family’s moderate Islam and became more radicalized during years they spent in Saudi Arabia.
Malik’s killing spree has horrified her relatives. Her father cut off contact with his family after a feud over inheritance and moved to Saudi Arabia when his daughter was a toddler. There, it seems, he turned to a stricter form of Islam.
“From what we heard, they lived differently, their mindset is different. We are from a land of Sufi saints ... this is very shocking for us,” said school teacher Hifza Bibi, the step-sister of Malik’s father, who lives in Pakistan.
Radicalized Says FBI
Meanwhile the FBI said the Pakistani origin couple had long been “radicalized.” The attack by Chicago born and his Pakistan born wife Tashfeen Malik now appears to have been inspired though not directed by the Islamic State, it said. They “were radicalized and have been for quite some time,” said David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office on Dec 7. “The question for us is how, and by whom, and where.”
Baffled by the actions of her brother, one of the sisters of Farook, says the terrible incident was “the very opposite of what we were taught.” They said they had stopped watching the news. “It’s harder for us to understand, especially knowing that he was our brother,” said Saira Khan. How can he leave his only child, you know? And how could the mother do this?”