)12/8/2015 NOTE: At the time that this was written, what actually happened was unclear. Some aspects of this crime are still unclear, especially the issue of the third shooter. We no longer think some of the other issues raised below are valid, but we are leaving the original post since that’s what we wrote at the time. See the added note at the bottom of this article.)
According to CNN, it’s an open and shut case: Sayed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were the shooters in the San Bernardino attack. Their latest headline simply identifies them as the “San Bernardino Shooters.” Is it open and shut, though?
One witness: “Certain” there were three shooters
One witness has said that she’s “certain” that she saw three people run into the building to do the shooting. Not only that, but she said they were tall, athletic built and “appeared” to be white. On these last points she did not say she was certain, and she was at some distance so she could be mistaken, but on the number of shooters – of that she was “certain” and it’s difficult to confuse two with three people.
Family Attorney Claims
Then there is a commentary from the attorney of the family. In an interview with CNN, the attorney, David S. Chelsey, claims that Malik weighed about 90 lbs. and was too small to handle the weapon which she’s accused of using. But his most important claim is that the couple was found lying face down and in handcuffs in the back of the vehicle (the black SUV).**
This raises the question of the third shooter, as well as the third person who was detained leaving the scene of the alleged shootout with the people in the black SUV. Clearly, if Farook and Malik were handcuffed in the back of the vehicle, then there must have been at least one other person – the driver. Some have said they heard reports that the authorities subsequently released this individual, having determined that he was not involved. Can we take their word for this?
Boston Marathon Bombing
We should remember the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, and in particular the FBI’s apparent assassination of Ibragim Todashev. Recall that Todashev had been in touch with the two Tsarnaev brothers. Todashev seemingly had evidence that would have raised questions as to the government’s prior relationship with one or both of the Tsarnaev brothers. This is relevant in this case:
- Who is the third person involved in the shooting and where is he?
- Is it true that it was all men doing the shooting?
- Is it true that Farook and Malik were found lying face down and handcuffed in the vehicle?
- Who is the third person who was briefly detained while walking away from that shoot-out?
It seems unlikely that this is simply a “false flag” operation which was out-and-out orchestrated by the government. That would raise too many complications. But it does seem possible that this could have been some sort of sting operation, or a set-up gone bad. We have no idea whether this was the case, but we most definitely shouldn’t rush to judgement.
Update: Since posting this article, we have come across an interview with a second witness who described “three white men in military fatigues” that he says he saw running away from the scene of the shooting and jumping into a black vehicle.
** — Since this was written, David Chelsey gave a new interview in which, among other things, he associated himself with those why deny that the attack on the school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, ever even occurred. This makes him a very unreliable individual. While we always were conditional about his claims, it now seems likely that they can be dismissed altogether. The main question that remains, as far as the specifics of the shooting is what happened to the third shooter, since it still seems overwhelmingly likely that there were three, not just the two.
We are not raising the idea that the third shooter was a government agent/provocateur. That seems very unlikely. However, given the history of entrapment by government informants as well as miscalculations by the government, it seems possible that the third shooter was a person who the government saw as an informant, but who was in fact a co-conspirator. If this is the case, it would be highly embarrassing for the government and they would definitely seek to cover it up.