Too early to call San Bernardino shootings “terrorism” says expert

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – What lead suspected San Bernardino shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik to injure 21 people, and kill 14, after opening fire inside a building at the Inland Regional Center, is still under investigation Thursday.

An act of violence, some may be quick to think was terrorism, but terrorism expert, Dr. Vesna Markovic from the school of Criminal Justice at University of New Haven says don’t be so fast judge.

“It’s too soon to tell. It’s too soon to say definitively what it is and what it isn’t. You know there are many scenarios, possibilities, it could be work place violence, it could be terrorism and now that FBI has taken over the investigation, we have to look at what their definition of terrorism is,” said Markovic.

Markovic says this, despite evidence investigators have uncovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the possession of Farook and Malik and after finding a dozen pipe bomb style devices inside their home. Even in the moments after the attack witnesses described seeing the shooters wearing and using military style tactical equipment. Her argument, that while what transpired was horrific, it still might not necessarily qualify as a terrorist attack per-say.

“Yes, they did target civilians, yes it was a use of violence, now was it to coerce or intimidate the government or the civilian population? Were there political or social goals? That’s yet to be determined,” said Markovic. “They have to look into their background. What was their goal in doing this? Was this just a workplace violence?”

Markovic adds what took place was more than likely pre-meditated, pointing out the execution of the attack indicates extensive planning and she has a prediction about similar attacks unfolding the future.

“These attacks consistently have been occurring and will continue,” said Markovic.

Moving forward Markovic predicts investigators will be looking deeper in the shooters travels.

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