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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

No Qatari citizen involved in the San Bernardino shooting


San Bernardino Police
Photo for illustrative purposes only

(With translation by Heba Fahmy)

Qatar was briefly in the spotlight this morning after a shooting in San Bernardino, California left 14 people dead at a social services center.

The incident unfolded throughout the afternoon and evening there on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Police killed two suspects – a man and a woman, who have been identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. According to the New York Times, the couple was married and had a baby daughter.

However, the police initially wrongly identified the first suspect as Syed Raheel Farook. Shortly after that, a second named appeared on Twitter and was broadcast repeatedly on Fox News:

San Bernardino shooting tweet, deleted after confirmed to be a hoax.
San Bernardino shooting tweet, deleted after confirmed to be a hoax.

Despite the fact that the name looked like a bastardized form of the Turkish president’s name – rather than one with Arabic origins – the story spread far and fast, especially on conservative American websites.

Conservative American websites quickly ran with the story
Conservative American websites quickly ran with the story

Questions about the credibility of that line started immediately:

And police debunked the story barely half an hour later:

This caused those who’d help share the story to backtrack:

Then the flat-out mockery began:


In Qatar, there was little surprise:

(Translation: See the American ignorance and stupidity, the name of the second defendant in the California shooting is ”Tayyip Bin Erdogan.”)

Translation: It seems like that the person who made up his name was following up on his (President Erdogan’s) visit to Qatar University.


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