Syed Farook and Salah Abdeslam are alike in that that they both committed mass murder against their fellow countrymen in the name of jihad and the Islamic State. The similarities, however, don’t go much deeper than that.
Farook was solidly middle-class and almost bourgeois. Though his parents’ marriage was a mess — his father was apparently abusive toward their mother — his childhood was comfortable and normal, and he was well assimilated by most measures. Their neighbors’ biggest complaint was the noise their rooster made and the number of fireworks the family set off on July 4th. Farook finished high school a year early, and graduated from a decent public university in his early twenties while his brother joined the US Navy. He got a job as a county health inspector nearly straight out of college. A little over a year ago, he enrolled in a graduate program for environmental engineering. His co-workers apparently liked him and all but described him as a nice, quiet, Muslim guy who mostly kept to himself. Heck, he even had a good credit score.More