A week after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and left 21 injured, some are wondering whatever happened to the supposed third shooter that witnesses say shot up the Inland Regional Center.
The two Muslim suspects who were killed in a police shootout have been identified as Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who were reportedly planning the deadly assault a year in advance.
But witnesses on the day of the Dec. 2 massacre insisted there were three shooters.
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Sally Abdelmageed, who worked inside the center where the attack occurred, claimed in an interview broadcast on CBS News that there were three assailants.
"I heard shots fired and it was from – you know – an automatic weapon," Abdelmageed told the network, adding it was all "very unusual. Why would we hear shots? As we looked out the window a second set of shots goes off [...] and we saw a man fall to the floor. Then we just looked and we saw three men dressed in all black, military attire, with vests on. They were holding assault rifles. As soon as they opened up the doors to building three [...] one of them [...] started to shoot into the room."
In her description of the perpetrators, Abdelmageed said she "couldn't see a face, he had a black hat on [...] black cargo pants, the kind with the big puffy pockets on the side [...] long sleeve shirt [...] gloves [...] huge assault rifle [...] six magazines [...] I just saw three dressed exactly the same."
"You are certain you saw three men?" the reporter asked her again.
"Yes," she stressed. "It looked like their skin color was white. They look like they were athletic build and they appeared to be tall."
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A second witness, Juan Fernandez, confirmed Abdelmageed's description of events, telling reporters he also saw "three white men in military fatigues" who "took off" in a "black Impala or SUV."
At the American Spectator, writer Arnold Ahlert noted in a column focusing on the third shooter: "Since then? Nothing. Certainly eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable, but isn't that precisely the reason one might expect the media to clarify the discrepancies between their original reporting and the current status quo?"
As bad as that lack of closure is, the second question is far more troublesome: why did the FBI abandon their investigation of the townhouse rented by the terrorists and allow media access to it only two days after the shooting – and leave shredded documents behind? Former NYPD Det. Harry Houck illuminates the insanity. "This apartment clearly is full of evidence," he explained. "I don't see any fingerprint dust on the walls where they went in there and checked for fingerprints for other people that might have been connected to these two. You've got documents laying all over the place – you've got shredded documents that need to be taken out of there and put together to see what was shredded," Houck added. "You have passports, driver's licenses – now you have thousands of fingerprints all over inside this crime scene."
The explanation offered by David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, strains credulity. "Once the residents have the apartment and we're not in it anymore, we don't control it," he said. "Once we turn that location back over to the occupants of that residence or once we board it up, anyone who goes in at that point, that's got nothing to do with us."
Houck wasn't buying it. "I tell you I am so shocked. This is detective 101 for crying out loud," he insisted. "It looks like there are dozens of people in there totally destroying a crime scene which is still vital in this investigation because we don't know how many other people that they were connected with in this thing. There might be tons of fingerprints in there that we need to look at to see if there is any kind of connection to those fingerprints or some people that may be on a watch list or something else."
"Something stinks here," Ahlert concluded. "Given the track record of Islamic terror denialism embraced by the Obama administration – along with innumerable examples of media malfeasance protecting that approach – the unmistakable odor of a coverup, or an orchestrated disinformation campaign, hangs heavy in the air."
Ahlert's analysis caught the attention of radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, who also has been wondering about the third shooter since watching news reports last week.
"This was not, you know, an oddball terrorist couple. This was a cell," said Limbaugh.
"They had a lot of people gathering ammunition, working on planning, driving other people around. It's not what we've been told it is. It was not a couple 'radicalized' who met on a dating site. The active theory now is that it was an arranged marriage by terrormasters and that they had, after the arranged marriage, a mission, and the San Bernardino attack was the mission – and it may have been more, we don't know. Third shooter? Who, what, when, where, why? Is there one? Was there one? Two witnesses said they saw one. The media reported third shooter. But nobody's had any interest in tracking a shooter down."
Just two days after the Caifornia carnage, Stu Tarlowe asked the same question about the purported third shooter in a column for WND.
"So, what gives, America? Did that third suspect drop off the edge of the earth?" Tarlowe wrote.
"Did he or she disappear in the same way that our ability and willingness to recognize and identify a terrorist act when we see it seems to have disappeared? Or have we collectively forgotten how to count? Have we now become a nation of the arithmetically challenged, the journalistically challenged and the cognitively challenged?
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