Friday, April 1, 2016

Apocalypse in San Bernardino

From The New Yorker:
Although the operation appeared ill-planned, there was some evidence of forethought. Malik and Farook rented a black Ford Expedition with Utah plates, which might delay identification during a getaway. They smashed and discarded phones and computer drives. But they did not attack a school or a concert or a gridlocked freeway. Instead, they attacked a room full of people who knew Farook, and who recognized him despite the ski mask he was wearing. There are differing accounts of the murder scene. In one, Farook had left the party angry after an argument and then come back, half an hour later, armed. In another, the attackers were three white men. In a third, published by the Sunday Times of London, and attributed to “witnesses,” it was Malik who fired first, “aiming semiautomatic fire at people gathered around a Christmas tree, knocking it sideways.” At her side, “Farook appeared to hesitate, perhaps momentarily losing his nerve or maybe to seek out a specific victim, such as Thalasinos.”

People fled deeper into the building, that was certain. Ceiling sprinklers were set off by the gunfire. The shooters emptied four thirty-round magazines, striking thirty-six people and killing fourteen, and then immediately fled, although they were wearing vests packed with more ammunition. They left a bag with three pipe bombs on a table—the remote-control detonator was in their vehicle—but the bombs failed to explode, perhaps because of the sprinklers. (Read more.)

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