A man who had been working in the area of Syed Farook’s apartment noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks but decided not to report anything because he was worried he would be called a racist.
CBS LA reported that neighbors in Redlands were “shocked” that the suspects had ties to their area.
“I was in awe that it was happening four houses down form my property,” one neighbor said.
Then came the man who had been working in the neighborhood and said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men coming and going in recent weeks, but according to the local TV report decided not to say anything to authorities since he did not want to “racially profile those people.”
“We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What were they doing around the neighborhood?'” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”
Robert Spencer, an Islam expert and author of the JihadWatch blog, said the same thing happened in the 2007 terror plot in which six jihadists planned to stage an attack against U.S military personnel at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
“The young man who inadvertently discovered the plot initially hesitated to contact police, fearing that to do so might be racist,” Spencer wrote. “This is what 14 years of pounding in the media from Hamas-linked CAIR and the left has done: make people think that defending themselves and their country is somehow wrong.”
Five of the six jihadists were ultimately convicted, and four are serving life sentences.
Farook, 28, born in Illinois, and his Saudi Arabian wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, have been identified as the shooters who killed 14 people and injured at least 17 people at a social services center in San Bernardino on Wednesday morning.
A few hours after the mass shooting, authorities followed a tip to the home on Center Street in Redlands. As officers approached, the suspects fled in a dark SUV. A police pursuit ensued, ending back in San Bernardino, where police engaged the suspects in an intense gun battle. The two suspects were killed.
Both Farook and his wife, whom he’d met online, were armed with assault rifles and handguns.
Police searched their home in Redlands, where they allegedly found explosives. The couple also had homemade pipe bombs in their SUV.
The Redlands home is reportedly owned by Syed Farook’s mother.
Other reports said Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia within the last year or two and came back with his new wife. He’d also traveled to Pakistan, recently grown a beard and become more devout in his Muslim faith.