Couple whom FBI, Obama call terrorists were once a ‘happy bride’ and her ‘sweet’ husband

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Tashfeen Malik is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by the FBI,

Tashfeen Malik is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by the FBI,

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All their mosque acquaintances knew of Tashfeen Malik and Syed Riswan Farook is that they were quietly devout. The FBI says they orchestrated "an act of terrorism."

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  • PeterVN

    I think a very appropriate quote here is:

    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

    -by Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate in Physics

  • I have a hard time buying that this couple could be known as “a ‘happy bride’ and her ‘sweet’ husband,” yet they were so ferociously radicalized as to have armed themselves with multiple firearms, body armor, and created their own bomb factory. It just doesn’t compute. How could they have been so successful at shielding their intentions, when such intentions can only be the product of anger and sanctimony, which are perhaps the two most difficult emotions for people to hide?

    Sorry, but I can only figure that these folk did notice some “red flags” which they never acted on, but in light of what happened, they’re now professing not to have seen, in order to protect themselves from criticism. (Note, I believe much the same about Robert Dear, who shot up a P.P. clinic in Colorado; I can’t see how he was able to hide his outrage either. The only difference is that he was a recluse and didn’t deal with many people, but those he did, must have known something was up.)

  • larry

    I would normally agree with that, but both husband and wife were the maniacs here. The one person most likely to have picked up on signs of mass murdering madness here, would be the spouse. In this case the spouse would take on the role of an enabler.

    Killer couples are not unusual. Apart neither of them would have likely been murderous but together they reach critical mass. (ie Bonnie and Clyde, Leopold & Loeb, The Hillside Stranglers…)

    Outside of the guy’s mother who did babysitting, one wonders how much real contact they had with others. Since both the husband and wife were the killers here, it would be easy for them to acquire and store firearms and equipment without provoking suspicion of people closest to them. “Honey, my sister is coming over, remember to put the AR-15 in the gun safe, while I make lunch”

  • Re: “Outside of the guy’s mother who did babysitting, one wonders how much real contact they had with others.”

    Yes, the mother … I’d love to know what she knew and when she knew it. As for the couple, he definitely with the county, and she apparently was a pharmacist or pharmacy technician and may have been working (but I’m not sure).

    At any rate, as I said, the sheer amount of anger and sanctimony they both obviously felt must have been noticeable to others. I simply don’t buy that it wasn’t. It’s entirely possible some of the folks in this article knew something was up, but for reasons of their own, chose not to do anything about it.

  • Clarification: “… he definitely with the county …” should be “he definitely worked with the county.”

  • Larry

    In the typical “worker gone postal” incidents, co-workers never put the pieces together until after the fact. “He was always such a quiet guy, always kept to himself….” People can be pretty oblivious.

    Plus someone crazy enough to murder random people is probably pretty good at suppressing rage in public. As a killer couple, I would think there was bit of enablement going on. Minor annoyances can easily get amplified to seething rage with a little encouragement from the spouse.

  • RickC

    No, I prefer another quote: “religion makes bad people worse and good people better.” Who’s to say someone is good just because they follow a religion?

  • Sue

    RickC, No, Steven W is correct and your quotation is just plain wrong re good people. Look closely and maybe you’ll grok the difference.

  • Actually in most of those “going postal” examples, there have been previous incidents, even confrontations. The whole “he was such a quiet guy” thing is usually a post hoc effort to explain why nothing was done. Which I think is precisely what’s going on here.

    I get that people who intend to go on a murder spree are going to suppress overt expressions of rage … but that’s still a powerful emotion, especially when accompanied by sanctimony, which means it’s going to “dribble out” in ways the person either can’t control or isn’t aware might be giving him/her away. I simply do not buy that they were able to pull off what is, essentially, “the ‘perfect’ con job.” I just don’t. I think they were giving themselves away at various points, and people either noticed, but did nothing, or were oblivious, which is understandable but still not a valid excuse.

  • Larry

    I think we are in general agreement here.

    I am certain the signs were there. I am also certain mostly likely nobody picked up on them just out of basic nature and obliviousness.

    I think people are generally not disposed to taking impending signs of a worker “going postal” all that seriously. Its more horrifying than most people are willing to accept as part of their daily routine, “Nah he wouldn’t do that.”

    Plus I am thinking the wife probably enabled and encouraged things beyond what would have been in the workplace. There is a chance he was more passive and co-dependent than angry. The wife may have been the one with the more outward signs of rage. Women from her background would be used to avoiding outward displays in public, where such things bring horrific penalties.

    Toxic couples can enable actions together that they would be unwilling to do individually. (See In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or film versions thereof)

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