San Bernardino Shooters Praised By Islamic State As Martyrs, Supporters
In a radio broadcast affiliated with the Islamic State, the couple responsible for Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino were praised as supporters and martyrs. The L.A. Times reports that several news organizations said on Saturday that the broadcast stated, "We pray to God to accept them as martyrs," and referred to shooters Tafsheen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook as "supporters" of the Islamic State. However, the radio show, broadcast on Al-Bayan, the official Iraq-based radio station of ISIS, according to CNN, stopped short of explicitly claiming responsibility, or any role in the organization or planning of the mass shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured.
Military analyst and former intelligence officer Rick Francona told CNN that the language used in the radio broadcast was notable; in other instances in which ISIS has claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks, they refer to the attackers as "knights" or "soldiers." "What they're calling these two are supporters, which is kind of a lesser level," Francona said.
As reported on Friday, the FBI is investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism based on evidence found thus far, including reports that Malik pledged her allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook post the day before the shooting occurred. FBI Director James Comey said Friday that while Malik and Farook showed signs of "radicalization," there was no evidence yet that they were officially tied to the Islamic State.
In his weekly radio address, President Obama touched on the need for stricter gun control laws. "We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could," Obama said. "It’s another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun."
For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I'm calling on Congress to close this loophole, now. We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but—at a bare minimum—we shouldn't be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against Americans.