The Ft. Hood Massacre in November 2009. The American Consulate in Benghazi in September 2012. The Boston Marathon Bombing in April 2013. San Bernardino in December 2015. All were acts of terror on American soil, but San Bernardino is different. Very different.
In July 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, a devout Muslim, bought a high capacity, automatic weapon, and practiced shooting it. In November, ostensibly unhinged about a deployment to Afghanistan, Hasan walked into the Soldier Readiness Center—where for several years personnel had experienced his Islamic rantings—and after a shout of Allahu Akbar—systematically murdered every person in uniform he saw. Thirteen brave people fell to his bullets and thirty more were wounded. At trial, he claimed to be a mujahedeen in jihad against all American soldiers.
The Benghazi attack is not ordinarily included this list of terroristic acts, but because it was an unprovoked, intentional slaughter on American soil, it should be. It occurred where the Obama Administration had earlier effected regime change, and where—one might have hoped—radical Islamic terrorism might not have been directed against American liberators.
Boston’s Tsarnaev brothers came to this country at ages 9 and 16, and self-radicalized until they primed everyday pressure cookers to murder three, including little Martin Richard, and injure over 250 innocents—people they considered “collateral damage” to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In San Bernardino, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik slaughtered 14 and wounded 21, the details of which have become horrifically familiar. They sound so much like so many other terroristic acts. San Bernardino was different, however, and this difference makes it the most terrifying of all.
Syed Farook knew every single person he cold-bloodedly shot and killed. He worked with them, celebrated birthdays and holidays with them, had lunch with them. His victims had thrown a baby shower for his newborn child. That his wife had not attended that gathering for her baby, kept a cold distance from his associates, and pledged fealty to ISIS all suggest it was she who radicalized this man born in Chicago and raised in Southern California—one of the assimilated. This was not a radical born of poverty or deprivation of any kind. Syed Farook chose to become a man burning with religious hatred.