One of two lawyers hired by Syed Farook’s family, David S. Chelsey, made some pretty outrageous claims in an interview with CNN:
Chelsey: There’s a lot of disconnects and unknowns and things that, quite frankly, don’t add up or seem implausible. She was never involved in shooting. She was probably about 90 pounds. It’s unlikely she could even carry a weapon, or wear some type of a vest or do any of this. Where the couple was found, from what I understand, is that they were handcuffed, lying face down in this truck, shot up. There’s a lot of things that just don’t make sense. You know, no one has ever seen Sayed with any of the things that they, I mean – with some of the things we found on the scene, they haven’t seem them with them.
Chris Cuomo: Like what?
Chelsey: The pipe bombs, for example. No one had ever seen him use or have anything like that. It just doesn’t make sense for these two to be some kind of Bonnie and Clyde or something. It’s just ridiculous. It doesn’t add up. It doesn’t add up, the military skills to carry out something like this. Really. Frankly.
Cuomo: Authorities go back and forth on whether or not this shows sophisticated or lack of sophisticated, in terms of how it was carried out, but are you saying you’re not sure that they did this?
Chelsey: I’m just telling you straight out that it doesn’t make sense. It looks like — if somebody had military training or something, yes, but there was none of that. And this person was not aggressive. We sat with the FBI for three hours and they tired to identify some characteristics or some affiliations that he might have had, that could have led to him acting this way. They couldn’t find anything. They were totally stumped, totally frustrated.
Is this lawyer contending that he’s surprised that Sayed Farook never said to the neighbors, “hey, why don’t you guys come over and I can show you my elaborate home IED factory and my collection of pipe bombs?”
The lawyer’s objections seem even stranger, and less plausible, in light of the fact that three U.S. officials say female shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook.
It’s understandable that this family might be in denial about what happened — assuming, of course, that no one else in the family had any inkling of what the pair was planning. But the lawyer’s rant sounds like a stew of “false flag” or Truther conspiracy theories, post-Ferguson police-demonization, wishful thinking (90-pround women can’t wear tactical vests?) and a sprinkling the O.J. Simpson defense strategy.
The lawyer’s contention turns the perpetrators into victims and the cops who risked their lives responding to the attack into villains. Credit Chris Cuomo for some expressions of incredulity during the interview, but one wonders if outlandish, unsupported conspiracy theories really deserve so much attention from CNN.