U.S. Attorney Warns Americans to ‘Stay Vigilant’ in Wake of Calif. Mass Shooting

Joe's picture

By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

December 3, 2015
San Bernardino mass shooting Nov 2015
The FBI and other law enforcement officers are searching for answers to the San Bernardino murders and specifically whether Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik have terrorist connections.

Although FBI Director James Comey says his agents are overwhelmed, they still have successes that may save Americans lives. Just days before Farook and Malik killed 14 and injured 21, Acampo, Calif., resident Nicholas Michael Teausant, 22, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group. Arrested on March 17, 2014, at the Canadian border en route to Syria to join ISIS, the 22-year-old Teausant was a convert to Islam and a student at San Joaquin Delta College. Prior to his arrest Teausant, a National Guard enlistee, had plotted to blow up the Los Angeles subway system.
 
In the FBI’s press release announcing Teausant’s admission of guilt, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner warned, sadly too late for the San Bernardino victims, that:
 

This case, like others in communities across the United States and around the world, is an example of how a young person from any place and any background might make the terrible decision to try and become part of a terrorist organization.
 
Fortunately, the FBI intervened in this case before any harm could be inflicted upon innocent persons. We hope that this case will be a reminder to us all to stay vigilant and involved in the lives of our youth, and in particular with respect to the dangerous influences they may be subject to on the Internet where these organizations are very active.

 
From personal experience, I can attest to the importance of Wagner’s cautionary heads up. As an example from the “you never know” file, my old home town of Lodi, located just three miles from Acampo in California’s San Joaquin Valley, was in 2005 the focal point of an FBI investigation into a suspected Middle Eastern terrorism plot. Some of those under suspicion were students enrolled in my English as a Second Language class. Read the alarming details here.
 
The case resulted in charges filed against Hamid Hayat, and in 2014 a federal appeals court upheld a 2006 conviction against him for training terrorists in Pakistan.
 
A chilling similarity that Hayat, Farook and Teausant share: they’re all U.S. citizens.
 
Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge your congressional representatives to block funding for Syrian and Iraqi refugee resettlement. As the FBI’s Comey has said on multiple occasions, vetting the refugees is impossible and even those who may not have terrorist sympathies when they arrive often become radicalized.
Tags: 

CAPS blog posts may be republished or reposted only in their entirety. Please credit CAPS as www.capsweb.org. CAPS assumes no responsibility for where blog posts might be republished or reposted. Views expressed in CAPS blog posts do not necessarily reflect the official position of CAPS.

Top