Several neighbors of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook told ABC News that they noticed “suspicious activity” at Farook’s home recently, as well as at his mother’s home at another location. However, they did not report it for fear of being called racist.
One of Farook’s neighbors told ABC 7 Los Angeles that “he was friendly” and “good with children.” Another seemed dumbfounded, saying he “just wouldn’t expect” Farook to commit a mass shooting.
One neighbor noted that police had been called to the Farook household a few months prior for what looked like a domestic violence dispute.
But even more warnings signs popped up when neighbors became suspicious after a group of three to four Middle Easterners moved into a nearby apartment and began “getting a lots of package deliveries.”
Aaron Elswick — a neighbor of Farook’s mother in Redland — recalled another neighbor noticing “quite a few packages” arriving “within a short amount of time.”
“They were actually doing a lot of work out in the garage,” he said. “She was kind of suspicious and wanted to report it,” Elswick explained, “but she said she didn’t want to profile.”
“We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What were they doing around the neighborhood?’” he added. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”
According to LA Times, Syed Rizwan Farook’s foreign travel didn’t raise the usual alarm bells with federal agencies because he didn’t spend several months overseas or travel to places where he could have spent a long time in a jihadist training camp, a senior law enforcement official said.
Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2013 during the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and again in July 2014 for nine days to pick up Tashfeen Malik and bring her to the U.S. on a K-1 fiancee visa. Neither trip lasted very long, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal assessments.
Malik applied for lawful permanent residency Sept. 30, 2014. After a background check by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, she received her permanent resident green card in July.