Behind the Crime Scene - A True Crime Podcast
They were a married couple who left their six-month-old daughter with grandma while they carried out the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the December 2012 rampage at Sandy Hook.
Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik?
Farook, an American citizen, was an environmental health specialist with the San Bernardino County health department. He found Malik through an online dating service. They met face to face when Farook visited Saudi Arabia, where Malik had moved from her native Pakistan. Farook and Malik had spoken to each other about Jihad and martyrdom before even getting engaged.
Farook was born in Chicago. Both he and Malik had become radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online. Farook’s intention to carry out domestic terrorism dates back to at least 2011 when he began plotting attacks alongside his friend and neighbor, Enrique Marquez. The pair had planned, trained and purchased equipment, to include firearms, and plotted to target the Riverside Community College and commuters on the 91 freeway in a sniper-style attack. Three men unaffiliated with Farook were arrested in Chino, California on terror-related charges, and one was extradited from Afghanistan, which stopped their plan. Farook renewed his efforts in mid-2014 when he and Malik began plotting the San Bernardino terrorist attack, before Malik moved to the United States.
On December 2, 2015, Farook and Malik dropped off their daughter with her grandma. At 8:30 a.m., Farook attended a health department’s semi-annual all-staff meeting at the Inland Regional Center that would be followed by a holiday party. Coworkers reported Farook had been quiet throughout his attendance. At 10:30 a.m., he checked his phone and departed, leaving a backpack atop a table.
The event went on an unscheduled break due to a technical problem. At 10:58 a.m., Farook returned with Malik, wearing ski masks and black tactical gear, armed with semi-automatic pistols and rifles. They fired five shots, killing two people outside the building. They then opened fire inside the building, moving from table to table, shooting anyone who moved or made a sound.
During the horrific attack, a bullet hit a fire sprinkler pipe causing water to pour down into the banquet room. As the room flooded, 14 people were killed and 22 others were injured in this mass shooting.
Let's go Behind the Crime Scene with Eileen Decker to to learn about the diabolical plot and the heroes who supported the victims and their families.
References: “Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik?” by Saeed Ahmed, CNN
“2015 San Bernardino Attack,” Wikipedia.
Eileen Decker served as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California under President Barack Obama. Eileen also served for six years as LA’s Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety for both Mayors Villaraigosa and Garcetti and as an Assistant United States Attorney for 15 years – serving as the Chief of National Security.
Eileen teaches cybersecurity and privacy law at USC Gould School of Law and National Security at UCLA Law. She is a co-founder of Pacific Intelligence & Cyber, an elite investigations, intelligence and Cyber firm in Los Angeles where she partners with clients to understand and manage the human factors and culture at the core of their challenges and issues.
Among many notable cases Eileen has worked throughout her illustrious career, Eileen led the federal investigation and prosecution into the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack. At the time, this was categorized as the most lethal terrorism attack on US soil since 9/11.