CALIFORNIA SHOOTINGS AS TERROR-DRIVEN: AN EXPAT JOURNALIST PERSPECTIVE

CARSON CITY, CA–The two shooters and some of their victims have on thing in common: they come from foreign countries, worlds away from the United States.

One of the gun-wielders, Syed Farook, 29, was US-born, but his parents came from Pakistan. His wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, was also from Pakistan.Both were “radicalized for some time,” according to reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Three of the 14 persons they gunned down at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, included: Isaac Amanios from Eritra who fought for his country’s independence; Benneta Bed-Badal, who fled Iran because of the persecution of her Christian family; and Tin Than Nguyen, who escaped after the communists took over Vietnam.

Victims and shooters were living the American dream. They comprised what would be “Little United Nations” in the land of the free. Yes, they all died, the Muslim couple perishing in a hail of bullets fired by cops in a car chase that ended in a wealthy neighborhood in Redlands, where they lived.

The FBI said then it was investigating the crime as “act of terrorism. How did they craft the thesis that the massacre was terror-driven?

One admires the method they used to track down the trails of the killers. from San Bernardino, to their country of origin, to places they have gone to, the people they associated with, among others. It was an exhaustive investigation that included interviews of at least 400 persons.

Does the Philippines have these skills, intelligence links, resources or maybe political will, to produce credible results with respect to criminal acts?

We pale in comparison. Take the case of 240 congressmen and 16 senators who absconded with more than P9-billion taxpayers’ money, No one has been indicted yet. The crime dates back to 2009.

Or the Mamasapano massacre of 44 Special Forces of the Philippine National Police by Muslim guerrillas in Maguindanao. Who has been arrested and indicted?

Or the case of Mohagher Iqbal of the violent Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Who is he? Is he a Malaysian? Why is he carrying a Malaysian passport? Do authorities have conclusive evidence? Why is the government dealing with him in an agreement or pact that would compromise Philippine laws?

The United States has passed a law that would make it difficult for nationals in countries, specifically those in the Middle East, that are, US officials say, breeding grounds of terrorists.

Now comes the Philippines that appear not to have a strategy to combat global terrorism. Remember the Ferryboat sinking years ago in Manila Bay that killed 100 persons, mostly Christians? Did the National Bureau of Investigation dig enough of the tragedy that, given the big number of casualties, could have been the handiwork of radicalized Filipino Muslim militants?

Why is our Congress–latest reports said lawmakers are being bribed hefty sums to approve the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law– now bent on providing the political and physical infrastructure for Sharia law and potential terrorists to operate at will in a vast chunk of territory in Christian Philippines?

Philippine leaders are not taking cues from the Paris terrorist attack and the San Barnardino shooting rampage? Politicians are not attuned or don’t give a heck to what is happening around the world? Or just too busy dipping their fingers in the people’s cookie jar? GUERRERO COLOMA/NorthboundPH