World

Authorities Interrogate Syed Farook's Mother After Father Claims He Was A 'Momma's Boy'

| by Zara Zhi
Syed Farook (left) and Tashfeen Malik (right) Syed Farook (left) and Tashfeen Malik (right)

Authorities are investigating whether or not the mother of one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters was complicit in the attack that left 14 dead during a holiday party on Dec. 2.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the FBI is questioning Rafia Farook, who lived in the same home in Redlands, California with her son, Syed Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. The couple constructed pipe bombs and stowed thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to the Daily Mail.

During a press conference on Nov. 4, the attorneys who represent the Farook family — Mohammed Abeurshaid and David Chesley — told reporters that Rafia had been taken in while driving one of her family’s SUVs and interrogated by the FBI after the shooting on Dec. 2.

The attorneys claim FBI agents told Rafia she wouldn’t be freed until other family members came in to be questioned. The father, who is also called Syed Farook and the gunman’s siblings eventually came in.

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Chesley claims authorities found no evidence linking the family members to terrorism.

Although the focus on the gunman’s mother came after his father, 67, said that his son was a “momma’s boy” and had become “too shy, conservative and fixated against Israel,” according the Italian newspaper La Stampa, reports Daily Mail.

The gunman’s father previously lived with Rafia, Tashfeen Malik, his son and his siblings in their Riverside, California, house before separating from Rafia.

The elder Farook reportedly said his son seldom went to parties with his wife, Malik, because he did not want other men to see her dancing.

On Dec. 6, senior officials stated that a correlation between the attack and terror group, ISIS, had not yet been confirmed, according to AOL.

“We're not sure which one [extremist ideology] they picked in this case, despite the media accounts,” said Lynch.

The elder Farook reportedly said he tried to reason with his son that resistance to Israel was best fought with politics rather than weapons, and became angry after seeing his son had obtained a gun.

He also cited a strange conspiracy theory to his son that Israel would not exist in two years because world powers like the U.S., China and Russia did not want it and all Israelis would eventually move to Ukraine, reports Daily Mail.

The elder Farook reportedly questioned why his son would turn to radicalized Islam with a stable income, a new baby daughter and a seemingly happy marriage and life.

Rizwan Farook’s mother Rafia was previously quoted as saying her ex-husband was mentally ill, an alcoholic and would physically abuse her, according to The New York Times.

The elder Farook denies the accusations. He said that his ex-wife and younger son were pitted against him. Rizwan had said his parents’ marriage deteriorated after an argument about Jesus Christ where the imminent gunman called his dad an “unbeliever,” reports Daily Mail.

Sources: Daily Mail, AOL, The New York Times / Photo credit: IBTimes