The recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California was the 75th Islamist-inspired terrorist attack or plot in the U.S. since September 11, 2001, according to The Heritage Foundation’s timeline of Islamist plots. The timeline highlights the continued domestic and international threat Islamists have on our national security.
U.S. citizen Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who was originally from Pakistan, attacked the Inland Regional Center for disabilities development—killing 14 of Farook’s co-workers. The two were later killed by law enforcement during a roadside shootout.
Found in possession of the couple: tactical gear, .233-caliber rifles, handguns and 1,600 rounds of ammo; an additional 3,000 rounds of ammo and 19 pipe bombs were found at their place of residence.
While the investigation is still ongoing, reports have surfaced connecting Malik and Farook with ISIS.
There has been no confirmation the attack was ordered by ISIS or simply sparked by a mixture of radicalization and an office argument; reports show Malik had devoted allegiance to ISIS. FBI has since noted the couple had been radicalized for “quite some time.”
In his address from the Oval Office on the Sunday following the San Bernadino attack, President Barack Obama noted, “It is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West.”
According to the Interactive Timeline of Islamist Terror Plots Since 9/11, this was the 64th executed by a U.S. national who had been radicalized. It also marks the 12th attack or plot within 2015—making this year the most for attacks or plots within a single year since 2001.
The attacks and plots this year include one on a beach in the Florida Keys, a plot to attack a college campus and an attack on a Muhammad art contest in Texas.
The majority of attacks and plots by Islamist-inspired terrorists in the past continue to be targeted toward the military, police and major cities like New York and Washington, D.C.
Thanks to law enforcement and the intelligence community, most of the plots on the timeline have been stopped before becoming successful attacks. It’s important the U.S. continues to give its support in building strong counterterrorism measures domestically, while at the same time taking a strong stance against international terrorism.