When a Mother Chooses Jihad over Life

Vigil for the victims in San Bernardino, Calif., December 3, 2015. (Joe Raedle/Getty)
The San Bernardino shooters brought a baby into the world, then slaughtered 14 adults.

‘The motive is unclear.”

That’s the headline CNN is flashing on its screen Thursday evening. “They haven’t ruled out terrorism,” Don Lemon intones. Is this a newscast or an Onion parody?

Sure, somehow the San Bernardino shooter got himself a Pakistani wife in Saudi Arabia just two years ago who was willing to turn their baby’s home into a bomb factory, willing to drop the baby off at his mom’s, willing to go back to an office Christmas party with two assault rifles, several handguns, and three connected homemade pipe bombs and murder 14 people.

Because the lady is not going to let her man be dissed in the workplace?

Back at the home were twelve more pipe bombs, thousands of rounds of ammo, and the materials to make more bombs.

I am trying to imagine what kind of woman could do this: get married to a man she met online, come to America, have a baby that by all the neighbors’ accounts appeared well-loved and cared for — while building pipe bombs, collecting bullets, planning to die in a murderous spree in the name of her foul false god who demands blood sacrifices. What could she have felt when she dropped the baby off? Did she turn one last time to kiss the life she brought into the world, moments before she went to snuff out 14 other lives?

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Lieutenant Mike Madden was the first officer to show up at the scene, the first of the thin blue line standing between us and evil, and what he saw was “surreal”:

It was unspeakable, the carnage that we were seeing, the number of people who were injured and, unfortunately, already dead and the pure panic on the faces of those individuals that were still in need and needing to be safe.

One of those victims was 52-year-old Nicholas Thalasinos. His friend Kuuleme Stephens told the Associated Press she happened to call Thalasinos while he was at work and having an office discussion with the shooter.

Thalasinos identified the man who would become the shooter by name and told her that the guy believed Islam was a peaceful religion.

#share#Patrick Baccari shared a cubicle with the shooter (whose name I am refusing to glorify by mentioning) and considered him a friend. Baccari was standing in the bathroom when he heard loud noises, “As I’m pulling the paper towels from the dispenser there’s explosions, there’s bullets flying through the walls. I look at myself in the mirror and see the blood. I thought somebody booby-trapped the towels dispenser,” Baccari said. A former Army medic, Baccari looked up and saw the bullet holes. “Get down on the floor!” he told the others in the bathroom. One man fled, the rest lay on the cold tile floor, their feet pressed against the door to thwart any attempt to open it.

President Obama used the occasion to discuss gun-control measures of the kind California has already passed.

Baccari has learned a different lesson:

#related#“I believe every citizen here should be armed to defend themselves in the case of this happening,” he told CNN. “I couldn’t have defended anybody from the position I was in even if I was armed, but at least if they had tried to come in and get us in that restroom I would have had some way of maybe protecting the rest of us.”

CNN is right, the motive is unclear, but only because evil is black and hard to penetrate.

A mother whose soul is so dark that she calmly, deliberately, chooses mass murder over mothering — who can explain it?

— Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project. She blogs at


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