California shooting suspect Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik were engaged in noticeably strange activity in and around their Redlands, California, home in the days and weeks leading up to the deadly attack on Wednesday, and their suspicious comings and goings were noticed by at least one neighbor.
But that neighbor feared that she was simply engaging in a racial or ethnic stereotype of Muslim people by her feelings of suspicion toward Farook, and as a result, she never reported the suspicious activity to authorities.
That account comes from a friend of the neighbor, who was interviewed Wednesday by Los Angeles TV station KTLA. The segment aired by the Los Angeles station may be viewed in the video below.
The neighbor’s friend, Aaron Elswick, who appears in the above KTLA report, said that the neighbor of Farook and Malik saw an unusual number of packages delivered to the young couple’s home. The neighbor also allegedly saw them apparently working on some sort of mysterious project in their garage during late night hours.
According to Elswick, the unnamed neighbor felt guilt-ridden after discovering that Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were the depraved pair of killers who carried out the massacre at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday morning.
“Sounds like she didn’t do anything about it,” Elswick told the TV station. “She didn’t want to do any kind of racial profiling. She’s like, ‘I didn’t call it in … maybe it was just me thinking something that’s not there.'”
The shootings claimed 14 lives and left 21 others injured at a holiday meeting of local health department employees — the same health department where Syed Farook was gainfully employed for the past several years as a restaurant health inspector.
— ChuckGoudie (@ChuckGoudieABC7) December 3, 2015
Farook himself had attended the meeting earlier, but left in the middle in apparent anger over something that has yet to be publicly revealed. He returned about an hour later with his wife, clad in masks and combat gear, each armed with .223 caliber assault rifles and 9 millimeter semiautomatic handguns — all of which had been purchased by legal means from a California gun shop.
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The couple, parents of a six-month-old baby they left with Farook’s mother before departing for the shooting attack, then emptied four high-capacity magazines of ammunition into the crowd, a total of between 65 and 75 rounds, according to a report in the New York Times.
When police searched the couple’s home, they found the results of the suspicious activity observed by their neighbor.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the search uncovered about a dozen homemade explosive devices of the “pipe bomb” variety inside the house, along with a staggering 2,500 rounds of .223 caliber ammunition and another 2,000 round of ammo for the 9 millimeter handguns.
Authorities also found equipment and paraphernalia that they said could have been used to manufacture even more bombs.
“Certainly they were equipped and they could have continued to do another attack,” said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan on Thursday. “We intercepted them.”
Syed Farook, an American-born United States citizen of Pakistani descent, and his wife Tashfeen Malik — reportedly a Pakistani national who entered the U.S. on a fiancée visa before marrying Farook — were slain in a violent gun battle with police late Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators say they are continuing to probe any connections to international terrorism the couple may have developed prior to carrying out the California shooting attack.
According to the New York Times report, a law enforcement source revealed that FBI evidence indicated that slain California shootings suspect Syed Farook had been in contact with extremist individuals both within the United States and in other countries for several years. At least one of those individuals had been investigated — but never charged — for connections to terrorism.
[Featured Photo By Jae C. Hong / Associated Press]