A bloody attack on innocent civilians in California that left dozens dead or wounded is suspected by some to be linked to the conviction of a California National Guard member who was convicted of a terrorism-connected crime in federal court. That suspect was caught through the monitoring of social media websites.
Allegedly two gunmen and one gunwoman burst into a Christmas holiday party at the offices of a social services agency with guns blazing leaving 14 people dead and 17 others wounded then fled the building located in San Bernadino, California, on Wednesday. The murder spree led to an intense police dragnet for the suspects who witnesses said escaped in a black sports utility vehicle. According to former Los Angeles police detective Peter Webley, eventually two suspects were killed — one male and one female — by police in an intense shootout. A third person, Sayed Farooq, was seen running away from the scene of the shootout, and he was captured is being detained and questioned by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Webley said that reports of the suspects wearing military camouflage were untrue, and they were in fact wearing dark, police-style overalls with body armor and their weapons were not military rifles but semi-automatic rifles and handguns. .
Several police sources claim there may be a connection between Wednesday’s shootings and the conviction on Tuesday of another California terrorism suspect who is facing up to 20-years in federal prison.
Nicholas Michael Teausant of Acampo, California, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2015, for his attempt to provide material support or resources to a group listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, according to Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin. Carlin heads the National Security Division at the Justice Department.
According to Carlin’s statement: Teausant was arrested trying to enter Canada on March 17, 2014, and planning to travel from Canada to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Nine days later, the 22-year-old Teausant was indicted by a grand jury on one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization. Surprisingly, the wannabe jihadist entered a guilty plea to the single count in the indictment without so much as a plea agreement in place..
“Nicholas Michael Teausant attempted to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism, and we are committed to stemming the flow of foreign fighters abroad and holding accountable those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner of California’s Eastern District near San Francisco.
“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,” Wagner said on Tuesday.
What made Teausant a valuable asset to ISIS was his being a member of the California National Guard. However, the federal government claims Teausant’s National Guard “training was minimal,” and “due to his lack of required academic credits, he never attended basic training,” the complaint alleged. He was in the process of being released by the National Guard, but he has not yet been officially released and remains a reservist with the rank of “private,” according to the complaint.
Teausant is scheduled for sentencing in front of Judge John A. Mendez of the U.S. Eastern District of California on March 8, 2016.