San Bernardino, California shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook was “obsessed” with Israel before opening fire on a holiday party for county employees, his father told an Italian newspaper Sunday.
Syed Farook, the gunman’s father, told La Stampa that his son took a very conservative stance on Islam and supported Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s “ideology.”
“He said he shared the ideology of al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic state, and he was obsessed with Israel,” the father told a reporter outside his other son’s home in Corona, California, according to USA Today.
Farook advised his son to be patient, telling him change in the Middle East would come with time.
“I kept telling him always: stay calm, be patient, in two years Israel will no longer exist,” he said, as quoted by USA Today. “Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China, America too, nobody wants the Jews there.”
The father also told the Italian paper an argument about religion between his “mama’s boy” son and wife once escalated to the point of Rizwan declaring their marriage had to end.
“Once we had a dispute about the historical figure of Jesus, my son yelled that I was an unbeliever and decided that marriage with my wife had to end,” Farook said, as quoted by USA Today.
Federal authorities said last week that Tashfeen Malik, Rizwan Farook’s wife and accomplice in the massacre that left 14 dead and 21 injured, posted her allegiance to al-Baghdadi on Facebook during the mass shooting.