A photo of Syed Farook lying dead on the ground has circulated on the internet, showing the San Bernardino shooting suspect bloodied but seemingly prepared for what could have been more killings.
Farook was killed in a shootout with police officers hours after authorities said he walked into the Inland Regional Center and murdered 14 people. While details are still emerging about the shooting itself, one very graphic picture of the aftermath is already making the rounds.
On Friday, TMZ published a photo of Syed Farook dead, with handcuffs on as he lay face down. The report noted that he appeared to be dressed for what could have been a long standoff with authorities.
“As you can see in the photo — taken very shortly after cops took him out — Farook was lying dead, but hands still cuffed behind his back. It’s also interesting he appears to be wearing the same black clothing witnesses said he and Tashfeen Malik were wearing as they massacred 14, and injured 17 others.
“He also appears to still have a holster strapped to his right leg, and a piece of body armor on his back.”
As the Syed Farook death photo has generated plenty of attention, a clear picture of what the alleged gunman was like during his life is also starting to emerge. Though the shooting was initially described as a workplace dispute turned deadly, it now appears to be much more calculated.
Farook, who is accused of carrying out the massacre along with wife Tashfeen Malik, reportedly had contact with at least two Islamic terrorist organizations overseas. An unnamed police source told the Los Angeles Times that Farook was in contact with Al Nusra Front, a terrorist group in Syria connected to al-Qaeda, and also contacted the Somali group al Shabaab.
As the Daily Mail reported, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik appeared to be very prepared for the massacre that unfolded.
“Police said the couple had more than 1,600 bullets when they were killed by authorities, and that the shooters had nearly 3,000 rounds of ammunition at their home, as well as 12 pipe bombs and tools that could be used to make explosive devices.”
Reports also indicated that Tashfeen Malik left a message on Facebook either before or during Wednesday’s deadly shooting that pledged her allegiance to ISIS.
.@FBI: Syed Farook was a US citizen but his wife was NOT. Investigating travel to Pakistan & other countries. pic.twitter.com/El8hiGxOcG
— Elex Michaelson (@abc7elex) December 3, 2015
Family members of Malik said she had gradually become more radicalized while living in Saudi Arabia.
“When relatives visited him, they would come back and tell us how conservative and hard-line he had become,” said her uncle, Javed Rabbani, in an interview with Reuters.
Whatever happened, it appears that Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook had been preparing their massacre for quite some time. Investigators described their home as a virtual pipe bomb factory, and they seem to have picked Wednesday ahead of time for the massacre to unfold. The two had taken their infant daughter to Syed’s mother’s home earlier in the day, telling her they had a doctor’s appointment.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 5, 2015
They may have also tried to use the massacre as a recruitment tool for terrorists. Reports indicated that Syed Farook had a Go Pro camera and may have taken video of the shootings. It is not known whether such a video exists or whether Farook was able to upload it to the internet in the time between when the pair escaped the scene the shooting and when they were killed by police.
The Syed Farook death photo can be seen here, but be warned that it is a graphic image.
[Image via Facebook/Syed Farook]