In the continuing investigation of the San Bernardino terrorists, the FBI has released information that should be a stunning wakeup call to educators everywhere. Very few will respond effectively. Keep in mind that the release of this information is alone should convince educators of the seriousness of the threat. There can be little doubt that the Obama Administration would very much prefer that this sort of information not be known to the public. Via Fox News:
San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook reportedly had multiple photos of a local high school on his cellphone, and amid authorities’ suggestions that the killer and his Jihadi bride possibly planned additional carnage, school officials feel they may have dodged a bullet.
‘Absolutely. We are relieved,’ Rialto Unified School District spokesperson Syeda Jafri told FoxNews.com. ‘At first we were very disturbed that something so horrific occurred so close to home. But we were relieved that it did not affect – physically – our staff and students.’
The FBI found several exterior photos of Rialto’s Carter High School, which has 2500 students, on Farook’s cellphone, the San Bernardino Sun reported Wednesday, citing sources. That piqued investigators’ suspicions enough to prompt a search of Carter and several other area schools previously visited by Farook, a county health inspector.
Terrorist and Obama Administration apologists and supporters often suggest that terrorists are courageous and “highly trained.” Killing children and unarmed, untrained teachers trapped in small classrooms in a school protected by nothing more fearsome and effective that small, metal “gun free school zone” signs takes no courage and no training.
And what was reportedly on Farook’s cellphone, one experienced public health official said, was very unusual.
‘Our inspectors do typically take photos in the food-servicing environment, but it’s very unusual for any of our inspectors to take exterior photos,’ Susan Klein-Rothschild told FoxNews.com. Klein-Rothschild is a nine-year veteran of the Santa Barbara Public Health Department, where she serves as Deputy Director.
‘We do not, in our county, have that experience,’ she said. ‘Typically you only take photos if there are violations. I asked around to our director and supervisor and both gave me the same response – and they have years and years of experience.
Farook had unrestricted access to virtually any public building, and even terrorists without such access can easily gather intelligence on any building they intend to attack in an open society.
Farook, 28, had worked as an environmental health services inspector for the Public Health Department for five years at the time of the attack. He had reviewed 10 schools alone in the San Bernardino City Unified School District during a 12-day span in October and November 2015, according to the Sun. Authorities sent in bomb-detecting dogs to at least one of those schools – Arroyo Valley High School – on Dec. 3.
‘Nothing unusual was found, and the site was deemed safe,’ SBCUSD spokesperson Linda Bardere told the Sun.
Jafri said Farook checked schools in her district twice a year and RUSD had no prior indication their inspector had an inclination toward terror.
‘It’s disturbing,’ she said. ‘It could have happened anywhere and it happened in San Bernardino.
That last sentence is particularly pertinent. Statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that anyone individual will find themselves a potential victim in a terrorist attack, but there are active terrorists in every state in the nation—the FBI has admitted to that—and there is nothing keeping anyone from being in the wrong place at the wrong time—or their children. What about the San Bernardino terrorists?
Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and wounded 21others during a holiday party on Dec. 2. But authorities have indicated that location wasn’t Farook’s first choice. Farook may have contemplated an attack as far back as 2011 or 2012, a U.S. government source told Reuters on Wednesday.
And the holiday shooting may not have been planned to be the deadly duo’s final act – but the pair was killed later that day during a gun battle with police.
‘And we’re working very, very hard to understand, did they have other plans? Either for that day, or earlier?’ FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. ‘And that work continues.’
FBI Agent David Bowdich hinted Friday that more attacks were ‘certainly a possibility’ based on the size of the arsenal kept by Farook and Malik.
Yah think? Keep in mind too that the “arsenal” was anything but. Huge numbers of law-abiding gun owners own more firearms than the terrorists, and keep far more ammunition on hand. A thousand rounds of ammo might sound horrific to people that don’t understand the reality of firearms, but it is common indeed and not at all an indicator of evil intent.
One can easily infer that since the San Bernardino terrorists did not remain at their target and die, since they obviously planned to escape, they intended to attack more than one target. As I recently noted in “Terrorism: The New Normal,” this will be a feature of future terrorist attacks committed in America. Hit and run tactics will allow terrorists to exploit the fact that it will always take the police time to respond. By killing a somewhat smaller number of unarmed innocents and fleeing before the police can arrive, terrorists can maximize the damage and the effect of their attacks. It is taking the authorities some time to figure this out—or they are reluctant to release the information that smarter citizens can use to protect themselves. After all, according to President Obama, we’re safer than ever.
Authorities haven’t yet revealed if Farook’s peculiar photos meant Carter High School was ‘a possibility.’
Said Jafri: ‘You can imagine how the district feels about this.
I can imagine indeed. If they are like most school districts, they’ll make a good show of security theater, and proclaim that everyone can “feel safe,” but they will not adopt the only policy that can deter attacks and stop terrorists when attacks occur: allowing willing teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons.
For a basic primer on these issues, it would be worth your time to visit my recent “School Attacks” series, and a separate article, which is a fictionalized account of a terrorist attack on en elementary school.
It would be a good idea indeed to read these articles because they are the wave of the very near future. Terrorists will kill innocent children in schools. This is, for them, and old and effective tactic that has been used for decades around the world.
The only serous question anyone should be asking is not whether terrorist attacks in schools will happen, but what will individual schools everywhere be prepared to do when an attack happens. What will they be able to do, then and there, to stop the attack and save lives?
For most American schools, run, hide, and hope the body count isn’t too large before police officers can respond. At Newtown, CT, it took the police nearly 15 minutes from the inception of the attack to enter the school. Ask your local school officials how many deaths they are willing to accept in 15 minutes.
My three part series on Newtown may also be useful for those seeking information:
The threat is here, on American soil, in every state, and schools will be attacked. Do we practice security theater or actual security? What are the lives of our children worth?