On Friday, Dec. 4, a new figure emerged in the case of the San Bernardino shootings that have rocked the nation since Wednesday: the Farook family defense attorney, David Chesley.
The lawyer, who spoke to reporters during a press conference on Friday, gave a series of statements meant to distance Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, from Islamic extremist group ISIS.
“The most evidence they have so far is that somebody looked at something on Facebook,” Chesley said, noting that the couple’s social media activity did not mean they were linked to ISIS. “I looked at Britney Spears on Facebook and I hate Britney Spears.”
Earlier in the day, it was revealed that the shootings are now being investigated as an “act of terrorism” after it was discovered that Malik, 27, had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi via Facebook just before she and Farook, 28, opened fire on a disability center, killing 14 and wounding 21.
The defense attorney painted a picture of the family’s home life, describing the Farook household as a “traditional” one, calling Malik a “typical housewife.”
“She did maintain certain traditions,” he said. “Fasting and prayer. She chose not to drive voluntarily. But these are all benign; these are thing that many Muslims do and it doesn’t mean anything necessarily.”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, users were having a field day with Chesley’s TV appearance, calling him everything from a “moron” to an “alien.”
— Beach Actor (@BeachActor) December 4, 2015
— Tom Dreisbach (@TomDreisbach) December 5, 2015
— David Katz (@inyourfacebook) December 4, 2015
Chesley also at one point brought up the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings and the truthers who emerged from its coverage, questioning whether or not the tragic events even took place.
When asked directly if he doubted the events of Sandy Hook, he hedged the question.
“There’s a lot of people that said it happened but hasn’t happened in the way that it was purported to have taken place,” he said. “There’s no question that incidents have taken place and evidence was found but we just question some of that.
“There is a lot of motivation at this time to emphasize or create incidents that will cause gun control or prejudice or hatred toward the Muslim community,” he said.
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