ISIS is gleefully responding the murder of 14 Americans in San Bernardino with the Twitter hashtag #America_Burning, showing their support for Muslim-induced violence in America even if they’re not directly involved.
Vocativ analysts found ISIS posts on web forums where extremists often share information:
‘Three lions made us proud. They are still alive,’ one ISIS adherent tweeted in Arabic after the shootings at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. ‘California streets are full with soldiers with heavy weapons. The Unites States is burning #America_Burning #Takbir’
ثلاث ليوث اثلجوا صدورنا بفضل الله مازالوا أحياء ويتجولون شوارع كاليفورنيا بالزى العسكرى وبأسلحة ثقيلة #أمريكا_تشتعل #تكبيـر
— ﺳ̲ﻟ̲آﻣ̲يےﻋ ﺂ̲ﻟ̲ﺩ̲ۆﻟة (@alSaoD__yahoD__) December 2, 2015
‘God is great and he the one to be praised for that,’ another supporter posted in the forum in Arabic. ‘This is hell with god’s will.’ But the hashtag was primarily used on Twitter where one ISIS extremist taunted the United States with a tweet that read ‘Let America know a new era #California #America_burning.’
لتعلم #أمريكا أننا في زمان جديد #كاليفورنيا #امريكا_تشتعل — أبومصعب المصري (@abomossabelmass) December 2, 2015
Another ISIS supporter posted in reference to the shooting on Twitter, ‘God is the greatest. May god spread fear in the homes of the Crusaders.’
الله اكبر…اللهم انشر الرعب في عقر ديار الصليب فكم اذو المسلمين — john–almwhid (@almwhid_john) December 2, 2015
Police have identified the two dead suspects as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. Farook was an American citizen born in Chicago who was an employee with the San Bernardino County Department of Health. Malik was born in Pakistan and had been living with her family in Saudi Arabia before marrying Farook.
The two met online, and Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia two times, first to meet with Malik’s family and then to get married. They returned to the United States earlier this year and had a baby. The couple seemed to be “living the American dream,” a fellow employee commented.
Another coworker, Griselda Reisinger, said he never suspected Farook of anything nefarious: “He never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious.”
Farook’s brother-in-law, Farhan Khan, told reporters the family is in disbelief: “I am in shock that something like this could happen. I have no idea why would he do that? Why would he do something like this. I have absolutely no idea.”
Farook’s father said he hasn’t seen much of his son, but that “he was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.” Everyone has described Farook and his wife as “very private.”
The question is, was this just workplace violence or a terrorist attack? Law enforcement officials say they won’t come to any conclusion until they’ve gathered more information, although they have said that the attack didn’t seem to be “a spur-of-the-moment thing.”
That’s understandable, but the fact remains that a devout Muslim who traveled to Saudi Arabia gathered weapons, pipe bombs, and explosives to kill Americans—and ISIS is embracing it as a “new era,” praising Farook and Malik as lions who have made them proud. Clearly, this is more than just workplace violence, if not in purpose then certainly in outcome.