Crime & Justice

Lawyer says Farook's family shocked; 'He was living the American dream'

A 2004 yearbook picture of Syed Rizwan Farook. He was named in the yearbook as
A 2004 yearbook picture of Syed Rizwan Farook. He was named in the yearbook as "Rizwan Farook."
La Sierra High School 2003 yearbook

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Syed Rizwan Farook’s immediate family spent much of the day holed up in a small home in a cul-de-sac on a typically quiet street that today was swarming with journalists. The house belongs to Farook’s sister Saira and her husband Farhan Kahn.
 
In the afternoon, the relatives left for several hours to answer questions for FBI officials, according to lawyers representing them.
 
“The family is cooperating with all types of investigations occurring,” said associate attorney Mohammad Abuershaid.
 
He stressed that there is no evidence that Farook was involved with radical elements. In fact, Abuershaid said the only thing remarkable about Farook was how normal he appeared.
 
“He was working for the city, he had a full-time job. He was getting his masters. He was married. He was living the American dream.”
 
He apparently didn’t have any serious friends, but rather spent time with his family and fixing cars.
 
Less is known about Tashfeen Malik. Abuershaid said even the family had only basic biographical details on her like the fact that she was born in Pakistan but moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia around the age of 18 or 20. There she met Syed Farook over a match making website for people looking to marry. They met once, married in Saudi Arabia and then started a life in California.
 
However, Abuershaid said the family didn’t have any other explanation of why quiet, introverted Syed and his petit wife Tashfeen would stock weapons and ultimately open fire on a room full of people.
 
His siblings and mother didn’t know him to have a temper and said he wasn’t known to feud with people at work.
 
“All we know is there are couple situations where people might have teased him about his facial hair,” Abuershaid noted.
 
Farook had been growing a beard Abuershaid explained but added that Farook normally brushed the jokes off.
 
Farook last saw his family on Sunday for a dinner where nothing seemed out of ordinary.

“The family is completely shocked,” said Abuershaid.