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sabato 3 dicembre 2016

San Bernardino Massacre One Year Later


The sound of a bell tolled through loudspeakers on Friday outside a building in Southern California, ringing once for each of the 14 people killed in a mass shooting by Islamist militants one year ago at the site

More than 200 workers at the Inland Regional Center, a complex in San Bernardino, stood with their heads bowed to mark a moment of silence punctuated by the bell tones.
Many of the same people were at their jobs on Dec. 2, 2015, when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, opened fire in a conference building at the complex during a holiday party and training session for San Bernardino County employees, who were Farook's co-workers.
It was one of the deadliest acts of violence by militants in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks. Twenty-two people were also wounded in San Bernardino.
"It's a day that marked all of our lives, it destroyed some lives, it destroyed families," Zen Martinsen, 56, a county worker whose friend lost a niece in the shooting, told reporters after the ceremony. Martinsen worked at a different office.
The ceremony outside the large conference building, which has sat empty behind a chain link fence since the shooting, was one of a day-long series of events in San Bernardino.
A private ceremony was organized for family members of victims and survivors of the attack, according to San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert.
The U.S.-born Farook and Malik, a native of Pakistan, died in a shootout with police four hours after the massacre. Authorities have said they were inspired by Islamist extremism.
"Somebody that would take hate and internalize it to such a degree that they felt that they were going to do something that would promote their agenda at the expense of so many innocent people, I was certainly saddened by that,” San Bernardino Mayor R. Carey Davis said on Friday.
FBI investigators are still seeking to answer key questions, such as the location of the married couple's computer hard drive.
In another symbolic act on Friday, dozen of bicyclists, including many police officers, participated in a bicycle ride of 14 miles (23 km), one mile for each person killed.
In the evening, another San Bernardino event was expected to draw at least 2,000 participants to an arena.
(Additional reporting by Patrick Fallon; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Alistair Bell)

In San Bernardino, solemn ceremony marks mass shooting Dec 3, 2016 Alex Dobuzinskis  SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF.

A year has passed. But it still hurts.
Survivors still fight tears as they recall that horrific morning when two masked people burst into the Inland Regional Center and opened fire on more than 70 San Bernardino County workers at a holiday party.
Relatives of those killed in the Dec. 2 terrorist attack climb Mount Baldy, play at Disneyland and cling to a Star of David necklace. But memories and mementos can’t bring the 14 victims back.
The immediate danger has long passed. But the massacre shattered forever the notion that the unthinkable can’t happen in relatively quiet, off-the-beaten-path, Inland Southern California.
The community is determined to never forget.
In a special project, the Southern California News Group looks into the attack’s lasting effects on survivors, families, first responders, investigators and other members of the community.

Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, both of Redlands, were identified as the shooters shortly after the attack and died in a gunfight with law enforcement near San Bernardino Avenue and Richardson Street about five hours after the massacre.
Malik, a Pakistani who came to the United States in 2014 to marry Chicago-born Farook, made a Facebook statement in support of terrorist organization Islamic State around the time of the shootings.
It appeared the couple otherwise kept their radicalized views off open social media. They also destroyed some of their mobile phones before the attack. But at least one was left intact.
The couple had drawn a flat line with only a violent spike at the end for investigators to pick apart.
The attack with semi-automatic, military-style rifles took place during a combination training session and holiday party for Farook’s co-workers at the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Department, where he worked as a health inspector.
A bag Farook had placed on a table in the meeting room at the IRC where about 80 of his colleagues had gathered was later found to contain explosive devices, wired for remote detonation.
In the weeks that followed the massacre, the FBI’s investigation would reach to the bottom of a local lake to look for possible ditched evidence and into unmapped areas of constitutional law as it tried to pry information from an encrypted Apple iPhone during a world-watched court case.
Agents used shoe leather, witness interviews, and private and public outdoor closed-circuit video cameras to account for all but 18 minutes of where Farook and Malik aimlessly traveled in their rented black SUV in the hours after the shooting.
That gap still has not been filled, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said in an email on Nov. 10.
“But we continue to evaluate any new information that comes to our attention.”
MARQUEZ’S ALLEGED DISCLOSURES
Agents went into Inland neighborhoods and overseas through their legal attachés and interviewed at least 500 people – among them witnesses, associates, and friends of Farook and Malik.
One them, Enrique Marquez Jr., 24, of Riverside allegedly described during several days of interviews with agents a shocking account of earlier, unfulfilled gun-and-bomb attack plans he made with Farook that could have killed untold numbers of victims.
DETAILS OF ATTACK PLANS
The two wanted to open fire on people at Riverside City College and attack motorists at an inescapable chokepoint along the 91 Freeway, Marquez said.
The plans were halted in 2012 when FBI agents coincidentally arrested a group of Inland men who planned to join Al-Qaida overseas and attack American service personnel there, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court.
Marquez also unspooled a soap-opera style scheme in which authorities said he married the Russian sister of Farook’s brother’s wife, but lived apart from her. It was allegedly done in exchange for payments to Marquez because the marriage allowed his bride to change the status of her expired visa, the affidavit said.
Marquez is accused in Riverside federal court of supplying rifles and explosive powder used in the attack, which he originally purchased for the 2012 schemes, as well as one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, two counts of lying on federal forms for gun purchases and two counts of marriage fraud.
Marquez pleaded not guilty to the charges in January and faces up to 50 years in federal prison if convicted on all of them. He faces trial Sept. 26.
Marquez is the only person charged in the attack. He told agents he was radicalized and converted to Islam by Farook when they were neighbors in Riverside.
Eimiller said the investigation remains open.
THE IPHONE CASE
When FBI agents conducted warranted searches of the Redlands townhouse that Farook and Malik shared with their then-6-month-old daughter and Farook’s mother, Rafia, they seized pipe bombs, bomb-making materials and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
In late December, divers from the FBI and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department checked the bottom of Seccombe Lake in San Bernardino, reportedly looking for a hard drive the couple may have tossed into the water. They found nothing but said due diligence required the search.
Agents also found Farook’s undamaged San Bernardino County-issued iPhone in his mother’s black Lexus.
Farook had entered a private pass code for the iPhone 5c that was not shared with the county, and agents were concerned they would permanently lose any data on it if they failed too many times to open it.
Instead, they got a federal magistrate in Riverside to issue an order in February for Apple engineers to develop software for a backdoor entry to the phone.
Apple, which had cooperated with the FBI in other efforts to get the information from the Farook iPhone, drew the line.
Creation of such a “brute force” program could threaten the encryption security of all Apple devices using a pass code, the tech giant argued.
Apple filed in court to block the order, and CEO Tim Cook personally took up the cause as the media covered every move in the case, in and out of court.
Heated court documents were traded exploring where the law stood on the right to privacy and public safety and whether the 18th-century All Writs Act and 20th-century rulings on government access to telephone records could apply to the 21st-century device at the center of the case.
Then, on the eve of a March court hearing to decide the issues, the FBI announced it had found a third party that could hack the phone. The hearing was taken off calendar, the FBI reported the phone was successfully entered – and the case ended unresolved.
FBI spokeswoman Eimiller declined to comment Nov. 10 on whether the phone yielded anything.
How the attack inspired efforts to change laws
In the aftermath of the San Bernardino attack, lawmakers seized the moment. They proposed a flurry of legislation to take assault weapons out of shooters’ hands, spur better reporting of suspected terrorist activity and reimburse first responders for their exhaustive — and expensive — efforts.
THIRD SHOOTER REPORTS
Reports of a third person involved in the IRC attack or afterward in the shootout with law enforcement officers have not been substantiated beyond anecdotes.
“Investigative efforts (which were exhaustive) and data all indicated there were two shooters,” Eimiller said in her email.
A 162-page report, “Bringing Calm to Chaos,” written by Community Oriented Policing Services and the Police Foundation, written with a grant and the cooperation of the Justice Department, identified only Farook and Malik as the shooters at the IRC.
The report also looked at similar reports from the shootout and concluded “authorities determined that there was not a third suspect” at that scene.
Among the listed sources for the report were the FBI, the San Bernardino Police Department, and the spectrum of local law enforcement involved in the attack and its aftermath, as well as the attack victims and their families and audio and video files.

San Bernardino Terror Attack One Year Later







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