Sources indicate heated tension between President Obama and FBI Director James Comey about the nature of the San Bernardino shooting, which left 14 civilians dead. Although the FBI believed that it was an act of terrorism from the beginning, immense political pressure was brought down on investigators to avoid using the term “terrorism,” with Obama stating, “It is possible that this is terrorist related, but we don’t know…It is also possible that this was workplace related.”

A SOFREP source confirmed that after the shooting, Obama held a meeting in the Oval Office with his National Security Council, the attorney general, and the directors of the DHS, FBI, and NSA, in which a directive was given to downplay the terrorism angle. Such meetings are not held for mass shootings. Besides that, SIGINT aircraft like the ones the U.S. military flies over Africa (programs such as Creek Sand and Aztec Archer previously detailed on SOFREP) and Afghanistan don’t slurp up data from the skies over California unless the government is actively searching for other members of a terrorist cell. The same was done after the Boston bombings and the attempted Times Square bombing.

FBI San Bernardino Investigation Stymied by Politics

If the San Bernardino killings are linked to terrorism, especially if they were directed or even inspired by ISIS, then the administration will come under immense pressure to “do something” in Syria. It has previously sought a minimalist strategy focused on not overly committing U.S. ground troops to the fight. Beyond this, it was clear early on that this was an act of terrorism.  The two suspects, Tashfeen Malik and Sayad Farook, are radicalized Muslims who had pledged allegiance to ISIS on social media.