The father of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook recently gave a harrowing interview where he explained that he knew his son shared ISIS' ideology and also had a negative obsession with the middle eastern country of Israel.
The suspect carried out the mass shooting that killed 14 people last Wednesday, the latest in a string of unrelated mass shooting incidents in the United States. His father, also named Syed Farook, agreed to an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa Mondo which appeared in its Sunday edition.
He told La Stampa's US correspondent Paolo Mastrolilli that his son indeed had an extremely conservative outlook on Islam and expressed support for ideas promulgated by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the ISIS also known as ISIL or Daesh.
In a surprising turn, the interview also reflected the elder Farook's own views. The father mentioned that he advised his son to exercise patience because, according to him, political changes in the Middle East will accomplish his desires.
"I kept telling him always: stay calm, be patient, in two years Israel will no longer exist. Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China, America too, nobody wants the Jews there," Farook explained to La Tampa and translated into English by the Times of Israel. "What is the point of fighting? We have already done it, and we lost. Israel is not to be fought with weapons, but with politics. But he did not listen to me, he was obsessed," he added.
The Italian publication said that the interview was conducted in Corona, California, about 50 kilometers away from the site of the San Bernardino shooting. Farook senior reside there with his older son Syed Raheel Farook, who is a US Navy veteran.
Apart from geopolitical issues leading to his son's inclination to extremism, Mr. Farook also admitted that his own family had been on the rocks in recent years. His former wife, Rafia, spoke to the New York Times earlier and said that her ex-husband is an alcoholic, mentally ill and physically abusive--allegations that are denied by Farook.
"Rizwan's mother is very religious, as he was, and they united against me. Once we had a dispute over the historical figure of Jesus. My son called me a godless person, and he decided that my marriage with my wife had to end. They destroyed the family," Farook described.
His younger son acted with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, to carry out the gun rampage that killed 14 people and injured at least 21 others last week during a Christmas party for San Bernardino County health department employees, where the suspect worked. The couple was killed two hours later in a shootout with SWAT team members. The father mentioned that he never met his son's wife.