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New Details on the Shooting in San Bernardino. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired December 4, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Anderson, thank you very much. Stay right there with me. It's 10 p.m. on the East Coast, 7 p.m. in San Bernardino where Anderson is.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
Pamela Brown is also with us this evening. But, Anderson, let's start with you, because you've been covering this for the last two hours. You know, we're getting new details from San Bernardino chief of police about whether there was a dispute at this holiday party that may have precipitated any of this. What are you learning?
COOPER: Yes. And this could be critical. Because as you know from the beginning there was that report that the male perpetrator of this act of terror got in some kind of a dispute at this workplace event and then left and then came back and began shooting with his wife.
The chief of police was interviewed by Gary Tuchman in particular. Let's play what that chief of police had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Was there or was there not an argument at this holiday party with this killer?
JARROD BURGUAN, SAN BERNARDINO CHIEF OF POLICE: We don't know for sure. We had initial information from a witness or some witnesses that left the party and provided information that it appeared that he left upset or under some form of duress.
There is also indication from other people that he was there -- there was nothing out of the ordinary and then suddenly he was gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: They said they're now only have one person who said there was some of a dispute. All the other people that they talk to said they had no -- had not seen or heard that. So, if it -- the fact it turns out there was not a form of dispute, that could be a very important to investigators in terms of trying to figure out exactly why this particular group was targeted.
LEMON: Yes, Anderson, still a lot to be learned. Pamela, speaking of that, you know, we have the first photo of Tashfeen Malik, the wife. What more are you learning about her? PAMELA BROWN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning
that she was born in Pakistan. That is where she lived. But she also spent time in Saudi Arabia with her father who lived there for many years we're told. We learned that she came to the U.S. on a fiance visa last summer; summer of 2014, and became a conditional resident just this past summer.
But there is still a lot of mystery surrounding her and right now the FBI is working around the clock trying to piece everything they can about her including her time in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
There are FBI agents over there working the case from there, talking to other officials and trying to piece together. And one of the big questions is could she have influenced her husband? There is one possibility that there is self-radicalization -- self-radicalization going on. And so investigators want to figure out what role she may have played in this.
Here is what the assistant director in charge of the FBI said about that today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BOWDICH, FBI LOS ANGELES ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I don't know the answer whether she influenced him or not. Being a husband myself, we're all influenced to an extent, but I don't know the answer.
BROWN: But as what you've learned about her has that influenced your belief more so that this was an act of terrorism as you learn more about her?
BOWDICH: We're investigating it as an act of terrorism for a good reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So this is really struck investigators, the fact that the couple did this together and so they want to learn more about their dynamic. But at this stage as you just heard, there is still a lot to learn about their relationship and about her specifically. Don.
LEMON: And, Pamela, the attorneys for the Farook family they have been speaking out all day. They're denying that the shooter is linked to terrorism despite the FBI saying otherwise.
BROWN: That's right. They said over and over again that director Comey said they couldn't link the couple to a foreign terrorist organization. And that was a big focus of the attorney today saying basically insinuating that this idea this could be terrorism is speculative because there is not enough information and evidence to substantiate that. Here is the attorney had to say at that press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CHESLEY, SYED FAROOK'S FAMILY ATTORNEY: I checked out a Britney Spears post. And I hate Britney Spears music. It doesn't mean you condone whatever you look at or read or you fully believe and you're acting on behalf of whatever you look at or read.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And so, and that sound bite that you heard there he's basically referring to this Facebook post, we've learned about that the wife apparently posted, pledged her allegiance on Facebook just before the attack to al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.
So, basically, as you heard the attorney say there that don't read too much into that. There is still a lot more to learn.
[22:04:59] But as we heard from the FBI today after a couple of days of looking at the evidence, Don, they are firmly saying this is now a terrorism organization.
LEMON: Pamela and Anderson, great reporting. I appreciate it throughout the day and evening. Thank you very much.
Joining me now, two men who attended the same mosque as Syed Rizwan Farook. And they are Gasser Shehata and Rahemaan -- Gasser Shehata and Rahemaan Ali. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for joining us, gentlemen.
Listen, we heard that Syed Rizwan Farook, described as shy and quiet. So, tell us what your impressions are about him. First to you, Gasser.
GASSER SHEHATA, ATTENDED MOSQUE WITH SYED RIZWAN FAROOK: Well, I met him about two years ago. He's not a friend of ours or we know him or anything like that. He would just come around the 1 o'clock prayer. He would pray with us during his lunch break because that's where he work.
He was an inspector for restaurant. So, whenever he had his lunch break he would come pray with us and then leave. We would talk to him for five minutes, 10 minutes, but that's more -- nothing more than that.
LEMON: Nothing more than that. And what was your impression of him, Rahemaan?
SHEHATA: He was a nice guy. He was a quiet guy, more on the shy side. He never raised his voice. He never had any argument with anybody. I personally, me, Rahemaan, we had the -- we had conversation with him about two months ago when the Russian plane was shot.
We were talking about innocent people and there were 17 kids -- 17 kids who were on the plane who died. And we were like why they do that? What do they get by killing 230 innocent people? And he was standing with us and having this conversation and he never commented or, you know, defended ISIS or anything like that.
So, we know that he never had at that time two months ago, he never had any extremist idea or anything like. LEMON: So, Rahemaan, you know, you all threw a party for Farook after
he got married. You guys cooked for them?
RAHEMAAN ALI, ATTENDED MOSQUE WITH SYED RIZWAN FAROOK: Yes.
LEMON: What can you tell us about his relationship with his wife. And go on.
ALI: Well, honestly, we never met his wife personally. Because in Islam the men and women are always segregated. And even if we were to go out working anywhere we wouldn't have the women present with the men. They would always be segregated.
And I mean, we, like, my brother he was actually the one who had cooked for the banquet when he had gotten back from Saudi Arabia after he was married. And he told us, you know, if we can arrange something for him to cook so we could have the banquet in the riverside mosque.
And like, again, you know, as our brother Gasser has mentioned, you know, he was always a very nice person. Very well mannered, very respectful, a humble person and he -- I mean, always had a smile on his face. And recently, he had actually finished memorizing the entire Quran which is big for us as Muslims to accomplish.
LEMON: Did he ever -- you said, you didn't spend time with her. Did he ever talk about her?
ALI: No. He never did. He just mentioned that he was -- before we had met him -- before we had met him all he had mentioned was that he was going overseas to get married and when he got back, he had been married, and that was it.
LEMON: So, Gasser.
SHEHATA: And when he had the baby...
LEMON: Go on.
SHEHATA: When he had the baby about six months ago, he was extremely happy about the baby. He came and he showed us the picture of his phone for the baby. So, we know for a fact that six months ago he looked forward to raising his daughter.
LEMON: So, what do you think happened between then and now?
SHEHATA: We are totally in shock. We don't understand it. We can't put that the numbers together. If we have to guess, we think something happened in the last, maybe, month or two month maximum. He stopped coming to the mosque about four weeks ago. We haven't seen him.
But again, we are not surprised because he doesn't live in San Bernardino. He lives in Redlands and used to go to Riverside. He only came to our mosque because of his work, he was inspecting restaurants in San Bernardino. So, whenever he had his lunch break he would come to pray with us, and
that's the only prayer we see him and he would come about two to three times a week. Now, what happened, I don't know. We are more inclined to believe that he had some argument or a fight with his work than to think that this has anything to do with religion.
LEMON: Did he ever talk about that at work that maybe he was made fun of because of his beard or anything like that? The attorneys are saying that.
ALI: No. He never really mentioned to us anything about his job, whether he had any troubles there or any issues about anything whether it is religion or work-related things. Every time we would see him, you know, like the mosque we would just, you know, just talked about it is how are you doing and how is work and, you know, he would asked us how we are doing.
LEMON: There are...
SHEHATA: He liked cars, he like to fix cars. So, he talked to us about cars. He never talked about anything personal about his work or.
[22:10:00] Never anything personal or political or anything other than that. So, I mean...
LEMON: The reports are that there may be -- that in that area where -- that you're in, that there is a concern about extremism, radicalism, about a possibly a bigger, a larger network, what do you say about that?
SHEHATA: Absolutely not. I go to the mosque all the time. I'm really regular, as what you call. And I can tell you that all of us are extremely kind. We care about everybody regardless of their religion. We actually learn the opposite of hatred.
We learn our religion to love others and to respect others and if we see someone in harm's way we have to -- it's part of our belief is to go help them get out of harm's way. So, there's no -- there is no radical organization in San Bernardino or any of my brother, Muslim brother who pray at the same mosque. I know all of them and none of them think like that.
ALI: And of course, if we were to know that he was like this, you know, we would be the first to report it to the, you know, authorities about him.
SHEHATA: Absolutely. Absolutely.
LEMON: Gasser, Rahemaan, thank you.
ALI: You're welcome.
SHEHATA: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come back, what the FBI found inside the killer's home. Plus, a young wife and mother leave her 6-month-old daughter and joins her husband in a brutal attack that kills 14 people. This is the first photo of Tashfeen Malik. We're going to tell you what else we're learning about her tonight.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The FBI is investigating San Bernardino, the massacre as an act of official terrorism, they're saying. The killers were likely self-radicalized. And they tell CNN that the female shooter in Facebook post pledged her allegiance to ISIS.
So joining me now to talk about it is Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal analyst, Anthony May, retired ATF explosives enforcement officer, Konrad Motyka, our retired FBI special agent, and Michael Weiss, who is a co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror."
Gentlemen, good to have you here, which is of course, under better circumstances. Michael, I'm going to start with you. Are surprised that this is ISIS?
MICHAEL WEISS, THE DAILY BEAST SENIOR EDITOR: Well, last night I said according to the New York Times it seems that the, you know, the male perpetrator had been in touch with guys that were more affiliated with Al Shabaab and the Al Nusra, which is the official Al Qaeda has in Syria.
The thing to understand about this, Don, is look, a lot of these sorts of networks or a lot of the ideology and rhetoric is transferrable. People who join ISIS, that the self-radicalized lone wolf types, it's almost like a sort of script.
They start watching the sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, he played Al Qaeda cleric and who was drowned in Yemen several years ago. And a lot of the, you know, the stuff that they get had originated with core Al Qaeda. So, remember, ISIS used to be part of Al Qaeda.
LEMON: And inspire magazine comes in.
WEISS: Exactly. It's not so codified as that. But the fact that this was an ISIS inspiration it shouldn't be all that surprising giving -- given that ISIS is the vanguard Jihadi movement on the planet.
I mean, look at what they've done in the last few months, four major terrorist attacks, two of them in NATO countries. So, this is the one to cast your lot with. Nothing succeeds like success. I hate to put it that way but this is how a lot of people will be drawn to them.
LEMON: Yes. You know, Anthony, it's so good to have you back. Because last night I was impressed...
ANTHONY MAY, RETIRED ATF EXPLOSIVES ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Thank you.
LEMON: ... by the way that you just sort -- the photos of the evidence were out there and you read them like, you know, as if it was a script. You knew exactly what it was and where it came from. But you have news tonight as I understand on the pipe bombs in the yellow bags. Tell us what that is.
MAY: Hi, Don. Certainly. The bag, the yellow bag contained several pipes that were put together. Now the suspicion was when they were removed from the residents is that they contained explosive powder or built up pipe bombs.
We're learning tonight that that in fact is not the case. I reported last night, you know, what's important is what is missing from that bag. I see no wires or nothing like that. But once the investigators got into it, the bomb technicians actually disassembled those devices; they determined that they were empty.
Now that really doesn't change anything. Because I'm being told that the pipes had drill holes in them to they were ready to be filled with explosive powders that were present at the residence. So, what we really have is a combination of parts were readily to -- ready to assemble. Additional destructive devices but they had not yet been built up.
LEMON: Does this mean that this plan got accelerated the fact that they were empty and they had the explosive things that they are with them?
MAY: Well, what it tells me is that there was something bigger planned or there was some plan in the works that for whatever reason it may have got accelerated. If you remember at the center, a bag was left containing similar type pipes and I have one here.
Just one of the elbow-type pipes which come from a hardware store.
LEMON: Hold it up a little higher, go ahead.
MAY: At a common hardware store. With the three of this were taped together with that toy car and the remote. And you know, it was filled with powder. Now, this is what kind of confused me early on in all of this. Is that he left the party upset, goes back gets his wife, gets gun and grabs a bag with a built up device, and then yet, we found this other bag with plenty of other bombs, potential bombs in it.
MAY: So, I felt that there was no explosives all along in those bombs.
LEMON: Jeffrey, you know, we witnessed an extraordinary moment today when the media was let into the attacker's home. I mean, were you surprised by this? The FBI says they were finished at this scene, though.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I was very surprised by that scene. But I have to say this is where I put on my journalist hat, not my lawyer's hat. There was news in that -- in that apartment. And we're journalists.
If the landlord is letting us in, I think we have every right to go in there and see what was there. I think it is -- it is obviously a major part of this investigation. There was no law enforcement official there saying don't touch this stuff. The landlord let him in. So, I think what the journalists did was entirely appropriate.
LEMON: Anthony, real quickly, before I get to Conrad here, I want to ask you, inside the home, CNN was able to view the FBI seizure receipts from inside the attacker's home. You've examined them, what sticks out to you, if anything?
[22:20:09] MAY: Well, quite a bit, actually. As I have already stated, there was something else bigger planned that the return on the search warrant indicated they found several -- several phones, one of them being a Nokia phone with no SIM card in it.
Now, in Baghdad with 2004, 2005, time period when I was there, the Nokia phone what was typically used by the -- by the insurgents to attack the coalition forces with the timing device for pipe bombs, or using for their remote controls for their pipe bombs or their -- I'm sorry, their devices, their explosive bombs which are lot larger than a pipe bomb.
But, you know, I was sitting in this chair with Anderson Cooper this morning when that occurred and there was a lot of people kind of setback that this open house event occurred. But you have to understand when the -- and especially on the federal side.
Once we complete the search warrant and we seize items we do a return on the warrant, which is what that was. And once we do that return and post that return, that's no longer a crime scene. That scene is been released back to the owner or occupants. That's what happened here.
LEMON: OK. Konrad, you're shaking your head in agreement?
KONRAD MOTYKA, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I do agree. The evidence response teams that response a scenes like this they do a very thorough inventory of the contents as well as thorough inventory of anything that seizes evidence and they leave a receipt behind.
So, that's what was left behind in the apartment.
LEMON: Al right.
MOTYKA: And when it's done it is turned over to the original property owner.
LEMON: All right. I want to hear more from Konrad and our guests in a little bit. We're going to -- this gentlemen are going to stay with me.
When we come right back, attorneys for the shooters, well, they paint this family a very different picture of what this family was like, the couple who killed 14 innocent victims. That's next.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, investigators are hunting for clues amid fears that the San Bernardino attack may be a sign of things to come.
Back now with Jeffrey Toobin, Anthony May, our Konrad Motyka, and also Michael Weiss with us as well. So, the attorneys for the shooters' family held a press conference today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHESLEY: He was a very isolated, introverted individual with really no friends that we could identify, like maybe one friend or no friends. And so, I guess what we would say is that when an incident happens like this when a Christian goes to shoot up an Planned Parenthood or an extreme Catholic goes and bombs an abortion clinic.
All the headlines don't say extremist radical Christian, Catholic, Christian Catholic, Christian Catholic. Just like right now every headline is saying Muslim, and attaching Muslim to it.
I just think there is a tendency to take a cookie cutter version of paradigm of a terrorist-type event and super impose it on a situation just because that person is a Muslim belief or Muslim tradition. And I don't think we should jump to too many conclusions. In particular, because we need to protect the Muslim community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I see a lot of heads shaking here. Jeffrey, have you ever -- what is your reaction? Have you seen this 48 hours after the crime, the attorney's family, the family for the attorneys -- attorneys for the family doing this?
TOOBIN: Well, it was just a very weird press conference and the problem that hovers all of this is that it has only been -- it hasn't even been 48 hours yet, and we don't know so much about why they did this horrible act. You know, what were their connections, if any, to terrorism.
You know, what was the situation with anger, if any, towards his co- workers. You know, the hardest thing for those of us to do in the news business is to admit that we don't know a lot. And here, we don't know a lot. It's very appropriate to investigate whether this is terrorism. That's what the FBI is going.
But these lawyers making statements like well, she was just a typical housewife. I mean, come on, give me a break. I think it's pretty clear she wasn't. But what she was remains I think a big mystery at this point.
LEMON: Konrad, there is refuting, basically saying, you know, the insinuating in my estimation that the FBI is just sort of making things up and associating this, you know, these people with terrorism and there is no connection to it when the FBI is saying what they're -- you know, what the facts are, what they have, at least. MOTYKA: Well, as Mr. Toobin said it's been -- it's been 48 hours. And
that 48-hour timeframe the FBI has been very measured in terms of its statements. It didn't -- it hasn't rushed a judgment, it's been conducting a thorough investigation.
And as additional evidence has been coming to light, it's now decided to classified this as a terrorism investigation. And as they have said, they are basing it on evidence that they have uncovered from the scene as well things that they can't reveal to the public at this time.
LEMON: And so, what do you -- did you were shake your head at some of the statements that they...
WEISS: Well, it just came across as very defensive, right? I don't see them saying, you know, anything about -- people -- the media who said that this is a workplace dispute or some kind of, you know, they have gone postal.
Well, that may be false too. You know, and as Konrad points out, the FBI has made an official statement. The way he were getting information is, the way that these thing tend to happen. The law enforcement, U.S. officials, intelligence, they're leaking stuff to the press and saying, yes, you know, that the wife pledge alliance to Abu Bakr on Facebook.
Just one final point here.
WEISS: He was such a sweet boy, so quiet, introverted.
LEMON: She was a housewife.
WEISS: The caliph of ISIS -- she was just a housewife. The caliph of ISIS for Christ's sake, was also described this way. Just played soccer, he was respectable, he was studious lab, we never this coming. When he was intern at Camp Bucca, actually a U.S. military official saw him as a crisis or a conflict resolution guy. Because he was so mild-mannered. So, I don't want to hear that either. You know, it's like the onion headline. Neighbors remember serial killer as serial killer.
LEMON: Listen, Konrad, you know, the FBI director James Comey and this is, I won't play the whole thing for you, but he says basically, when you look back over, the cases over the last 10 to 15 years, he said, usually they find out that someone saw something but didn't -- didn't really say anything.
[22:29:59] You know, we're hearing everyone saying, you know, we didn't know anything. We were shocked but he stopped coming, you know, to the services. What gives here?
MOTYKA: Well, I suppose it's possible people don't know something but you have a couple with a 6-month-old child in an apartment with components for pipe bombs, thousands of rounds of ammunitions, assault weapons, masks and vests, so does that mean no one visited them in their apartment? No one visited them at their home, no one saw this? I don't know. Of course it is possible but it makes one wonder.
LEMON: Anthony, you know, as we look back on the information that we have and as we talk about, you know, what these -- the attorney saying, listen, you know, we shouldn't jump to conclusions at this point.
This is painting Islam in a bad light. The information that the FBI is putting out, the evidence that they have right now basically, you know, they're just sort of -- I don't know -- I don't know if I should say making things up, but just equating things to this couple that may not necessarily be so.
MAY: Don, look, the attorney -- the point he was trying to make was that reality is, religion plays a role in a lot of these. Yes, the IRA were kept, predominantly Catholics bombing the Protestants. The Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Eric Rudolph based on their Protestant beliefs did what they did.
But that's really immaterial here. It was mentioned that he became quiet, introverted, kept to himself. I'm sorry but at one time that was a typical profile of a bomber. And the fact that -- did we rush to judgment, labeling terrorism? I got to tell you, I've been working with ATF for 20 years, worked with the FBI on different cases. And this is the first time I have seen the FBI take as measured steps as they did to not raise the terrorism flag initially.
But the indications were there. The devices that were built were very similar to -- or right out of a play book by Al Qaeda, the inspire magazine talking about, you know, the target selection right out of the inspire magazine.
So you know, whether it's -- whether he belonged to a terrorist group, but he sure he was inspired by the methodology or the inspiration or whatever term you want to put there. You know, that's where we're at with this.
LEMON: Yes. Quickly, you want to say something. What do you want to say?
MICHAEL WEISS, THE DAILY BEAST SENIOR EDITOR: No, no, I agree.
LEMON: Do you agree with him?
LEMON: All right. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
The shooters' family members say they never saw this coming. When we come right back, the woman who says the warning signs were all there.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: The FBI is investigating the San Bernardino massacre as an act of terrorism. And law enforcement official tell CNN that the female shooter, Tashfeen Malik, pledged her allegiance to the leader of ISIS in a Facebook posting of the events where unfolding.
So, joining me now is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the author of "Heretic, Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now."
Ayaan, thank you so much for joining us. Let's get to it quickly, though. The FBI announced today that it has taken the lead role in the investigation of the attack in San Bernardino and that it would be investigated as an act of terrorism. Was this the outcome that you had expected?
AYAAN HIRSI ALI, "HERETIC" AUTHOR: Well, I mean, listen, a mass shooting happened in the United States of America and we all sit down and think, you know, what is the cause, could it be a, you know, a crazy person? If it's political violence then where does it come from? And as things unfolded yesterday and early today, it was clear this was related to Islamic terrorism.
So, I understand and I really applaud the FBI and law enforcement for being initially, you know, evidence-driven and that's driven and not jumping to conclusions and we shouldn't jump to conclusions.
But, yes, now -- now we know at least we think we know that the two people involved in the shooting had connections with Islamic extremism or were driven by Islamic extremist ideology.
What we don't know yet is why they chose to attack that particular venue at that particular time. And I think that is, you know, what the investigation is going to focus on, among other things. And you know, who -- who else is involved, who are the other co-conspirators. The fact that these people are...
LEMON: But, Ayaan -- you have been watching the news all day and the Farook family attorneys are denying any links to terrorism. And they say it is overzealous to characterize -- to characterize in that way that is way too soon. What do you think?
ALI: I don't believe the Farook families. I do not believe the families of the Paris terrorist attackers. You know, any family member who is close to their loved ones who say we had no idea what was happening. I beg to disagree with them.
I know that there are signs and symptoms that they should have seen, that could have seen that house is really very small. There is a 6- month-old baby there. There is a mother that is looking after the baby. There are packages arriving, there are people coming and going.
There is a lot of activity, you know, Farook Syed or Syed Farook's father said he comes home to pray and goes back. There is a list of signs that I would look for. And I don't know if the FBI looks for that. I don't know if American law enforcement is literate about how people become, you know, they invest in life on earth, as in they go to work and then if it creates and have relationships with non-Muslims and the opposite sex and all that.
And how they switch from that very slowly. Sometimes very slowly, sometimes a little faster. And for the family members to say we didn't see any of this coming, I just don't buy that.
LEMON: Well, Farook seemed to be living the American dream, Ayaan. A wife, a baby, a daughter, a good job. He was a devoted Muslim who talked about restoring cars. So, what do you think changed to make him give all that up?
[22:40:00] ALI: Well, I think part of it has to do with how you define being a devoted Muslim. And there are a lot of devoted Muslims who say just observe, prayer, fasting, and going to Mecca and doing all kinds of charitable activities as they see fit.
But it becomes have been -- I was -- I once, you know, got attracted to such movements. And there's a very clear change in behavior. And the first group of people to see this, that's the intimate circle of family and relatives and the extended family and then friends and maybe colleagues and neighbors.
But these signs are very clear for anyone to see. And I think because we've been politically correct in sort of non-West, in the non-Western context and Muslims have been on the defensive more interested in defending the image of Islam instead of seeing what's happening and unfolding of their eyes regarding their relatives.
That we can't stop these people. I understand we can stop them but then we have to call things by their name.
LEMON: Yes. Well, the neighbor said they saw things happening in the house, Ayaan, and they were afraid to come forward because they didn't want to be seen as Islamophobic, they don't want to profile anyone. You say its politically correct culture that we live in.
Follow up on that. Do you think that we are too PC when it comes to even constructive criticism of Islam?
ALI: We are too PC, and that's a self-inflicted wound on our Western context. So, if you are a non-Muslim and you see things happening that you think your gut feeling says this isn't right. This is just so weird and you don't act on it because you don't want to think of yourself as even imagining what these people are doing.
And you don't want to think of yourself as a racist or Islamophobic, et cetera, so that's part of it. But then and there is the other part of it, which is the intimate circle of family and friends, extended family where you see your son or your daughter becoming more pious, rejecting the way the family believed before, getting more and more invested in life after death, talking in this jargon, you know, peppering everything they say with the Prophet Mohammed said and the Quran said, as if you can't do anything without consulting the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran. Talking about life after death, sort of applying Sharia law to yourself. Suddenly talking about Jihad and -- that is -- so, it's two sets of people. The immediate family and then, you know, the neighbors, non-Muslim neighbors, non-Muslim colleagues. But if you tie these two groups of people together, you can -- I think you can get to these people before they become violent.
LEMON: I want -- let me talk to you about Tashfeen Malik, right, the wife. Because law enforcement officials say she posted a statement of support for ISIS, or ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi online just before the attack.
It appears that she may have been the one, she could have been the one who radicalize her husband, Farook. His family says he married a terrorist. What do you make of this?
ALI: Again, I don't buy that. He bought these guns what, at least what I'm getting in the news, a number of years ago before he met her or married her. I do not like the word radicalization. The word I think that is more opt is piety.
The more you become pious as a Muslim in a certain way that makes people around you feel uncomfortable. And he had started to show those signs before ISIS was established and before he met this woman.
LEMON: Ayaan, there has been tremendous Muslim backlash here in the United States recently fighting over the Syrian refugees, campaign shear comments about closing mosques and putting people on registries. Can this cause problems if there are people already feeling like outsiders here in the U.S.?
ALI: I don't want to call it a backlash, Don. We are not seeing a backlash. What we are seeing is heightened concern. We are seeing terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam and the public is responding to that. The public is looking to the people in government and they are refusing to call this radical Islam.
But, I mean, I read the New York Times. And when something like this is reported, read the comments, the ordinary readers just call these things by their name. People are frightened and confused. I get that.
As of now we are not really seeing a backlash and I hope we don't see a backlash. I am confident that American people are really decent people and because of what happened in San Bernardino, you know, the mass and the average American is not going to respond with violence.
But in order to prevent the next massacre we have to be honest and we will not get this until we really use the vocabulary that the Islamists use and unfortunately, for the peace-loving, decent Muslims, it's a challenge.
[22:45:08] LEMON: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, thank you so much.
ALI: Don, thank you. Thank you for having me. Hope we can help.
LEMON: And coming up, women and ISIS, how the terrorists are recruiting them, and what they're planning.
LEMON: Listen, we have new information about the attackers in San Bernardino and what we are learning is quite frightening.
Joining me now is Joby Warrick, he is the author of "Black Flags: the Rise of ISIS." Joby, good evening to you.
Three U.S. officials who noted the investigation are telling CNN that Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge, pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook while the shooting was happening. How would that be received by ISIS leaders in the Middle East?
JOBY WARRICK, "BLACK FLAGS: THE RISE OF ISIS" AUTHOR: Well, if can see the reaction today from ISIS and they're saying essentially that, yes, there was this plot that's a place in San Bernardino by supporters of ISIS.
But they are not really claiming them as members and they're not really even saying they took, they were responsible for this. They haven't made any indication that they planned it, had put up any evidence that they were part of this in terms of directing it or orchestrating it.
LEMON: So, even if the massacre was inspired and not directed by ISIS, I mean, do you think it's going to have the same effect on ISIS as far as attention and recruiting?
[22:50:03] WARRICK: Well, you know, it does. It definitely helps them because first of all it lets them show -- you know, they've been tweeting all day that they show they've being powerful they're doing something in the United States.
They are making a statement here in the U.S. which has claimed that it's someone immune for this kind of terrorist attack. So, yes, it makes them look very potent and that they are claiming credit for it in their own ways. And I think it really help the message.
LEMON: Let's talk more about women. Let's talk about women here. So, this is the second time this year that we are talking about a woman linked to an ISIS or an ISIS-inspired plot. Linked to ISIS or an ISIS- inspired plot. First one was Hayat Boumeddiene, remember that during the Paris attack in January. So, what is it about the ISIS message that is appealing to women?
WARRICK: Well, you know, what's peculiar about ISIS is that they go after women in a way we don't see other terrorist groups do. There has estimates that as many as 1 in 10 ISIS recruits are women and they go after them very specifically, and they go after them for various reasons. They -- for suicide attacks and things like that. Because often women are not suspected they can get into places a little more easily than men can.
But also they bring them over to be -- sort of to help and to comfort and to even run police brigades in some of these ISIS-controlled territories. So, they really want to recruit women and incredibly, as repressive as ISIS is for women a lot of women sign up to do it particularly Europeans but also some Americans.
LEMON: So, what about -- what about their 6-month-old daughter. That is what everyone is talking about. You know, I was walking through - the city today and women are asking me about how could they leave their 6-month-old child especially a woman. Is it unusual to have a couple with a young baby to commit this kind of act?
WARRICK: It is unusual. But the one thing to think about is, you know, these ISIS folks talks about the martyrs reward, the murder who kills himself in the name of Allah will go to meet, you know, to go to paradise. But it's not just the murderer himself, but also members of his family gets special rewards in the afterlife.
So, by becoming a martyr you also ensure that your offspring perhaps or your parents also get, you know, heavenly rewards. So, you can think of that in a way as this family is thinking that this is the ultimate insurance policy for their kid.
LEMON: So, thinking that they're justifying this through the afterlife?
WARRICK: Yes. You know, we don't really know all the details but that's often a lot of these folks talk about this. That I'm doing this not just for me but I'm also doing it to help my family.
LEMON: What do you think is the biggest misconception as we're looking at this? Because I get to that I want to ask you, how does one decide what is what in this? Because we are told that they are saying blend in, right? Don't stand out and many times don't even grow a beard, be the all-American couple.
So, then how does one distinguish between, you know, if there is behavior that may lend to this sort of activity, it seems like it's becoming harder and harder, you know, even though people are saying, hey, I didn't -- you know, I didn't see anything, the mom was taking care of the baby in the house. But even for people on the outside, how do you distinguish, how do you figure out what to say?
WARRICK: Well, that's what is most perplexing about this case to me is that there are no clear evidence or signs that these people were radicalizing. You know, there are in often I could -- the Chattanooga shooter and some of these other cases we've seen.
There is a trail of evidence that people talk about this person being more withdrawn or becoming involved in chat rooms and that kind of thing. And if that existed we haven't seen evidence of it so far.
Which means, that the problem for law enforcement is that much harder, because they have to find this ultimate needle in a haystack. That really no visible clues, no outer clues, very quiet couple, very inward. No evidence of radicalization or even involvement in a radical mosque. So, you know, how do you begin to try to find these people? It's very hard mission.
LEMON: So, the question I was going to ask you, then, what is the biggest misconception that Americans have about ISIS is?
WARRICK: NO. I think a lot -- even law enforcement had the sense that ISIS was really self-contained in its caliphate. It has its hands who are trying to defend and create this -- this wonderful mystical place that it was trying to build and it wasn't really interested in the outside world.
Now we see this new face which is really more and more apparent where they're not just asking people to come join them in the caliphate but to do things at home, to destroy, to kill, you know, in Paris, and the West and in the United States, and perhaps that's where we are right now. And that's a pretty terrifying place to be.
LEMON: Joby Warrick. The book is called "Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS." Thank you, sir. We appreciate it.
WARRICK: Thank you, Don.
[22:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The stars come out to honor the top 10 heroes of 2015. Anderson Cooper hosts CNN Heroes, an all-star tribute, Sunday night, 8 Eastern.
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[22:59:59] LEMON: It's going to be an amazing show. What a week, man. That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see right back here on Monday night. CNN Heroes, superheroes starts right now.