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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 3, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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breaking news tonight, growing indications of terrorism. what we just learned about the heavily-armed attackers in san bernadino. a husband and wife team seemingly living the american dream, but just beneath the surface, he apparently was radicalized, communicating with jihadist sympathizers inside the u.s. and overseas. >> tonight, a vicious rampage authorities say could have been even worse. a massive cache of weapons found, remote-controlled bombs about to explode a co-worker disappeared, suddenly returning to massacre them. >> the question so many are request asking, how do we stop home grown terror,
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overseas, new fears about those radicalized flying under the radar and already here. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. the attackers in yesterday's massacre met their end in this neighborhood and that gun battle with police. what was revealed today seems to make it much more likely that attack was an act of terrorism. in great and stunning detail, police describe a picture of a heavily armed group of attackers, two of them backed up by an arsenal of pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammo, fully capable of launching a follow-on attack. yet authorities, without more evidence, are still pointedly refusing to label it a terrorist attack. aware the implications are so terribly profound. today we learned the names and stories of
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we are also learning more about the suspects. but tonight. let's start with national correspondent miguel almaguer with today's major developments. >> reporter: 10:59 a.m., the first reports of shots fired. scrambling to the scene, again arriving within four minutes. >> we believe the suspects when they entered fired somewhere between 65 and 75 rounds. >> reporter: two shooters enter the sprawling office complex through unlocked doors. 28-year-old syed farook and his 27-year-old wife tashfeen malik attack a crowded conference room. patrick was at the holiday party. >> i could see the bullet holes higher on the wall. i told everybody get on the floor. >> reporter: syed farook returning to the party he just left with his wife fully armed with guns
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people there. >> reporter: fear gripped the entire complex. >> i'll take a bullet before you do, that's for damn sure. >> reporter: police ordering everyone to keep their hands up and their heads down. >> try to relax. >> reporter: the attack leaving 14 dead and 21 wounded, looked like a war zone. 2:56 p.m. two miles away, police following a tip spot the suspect's vehicle. the chase began. four minutes later, a gun battle on the street. the shooters killed, two police officers injured, 456 rounds exchanged. the couple had tactical gear, two assault rifles, two hand guns, 2,000 rounds of ammunition found inside their rented car. >> clearly, they were equipped and could have continued to do another attack. >> reporter: now 5:05 p.m., police use a battering ram to clear
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inside pipe bombs, tools to build ieds, the suspects' family in disbelief. >> it's unbelievable what happened. i am very sad, deeply sad and shocked. >> reporter: tonight investigators looking for answers, why did this happen? >> we do not yet know the motive. we cannot rule anything out at this point. >> reporter: tonight investigators say this attack appears to be well planned. suspects had a 6-month-old baby daughter they took to a relative's house early wednesday. they rented their car several days early. they say all of that ammunition and those explosive devices took quite some time to stop pile. >> that's a lot of fire power. we heard those pops you were describing yesterday where they exploded some of them. >> reporter: that's right. loud explosions shattered this neighborhood. tonight investigators are furiously digging into syed farook's past as they try to determine a motive for this attack. sources are telling nbc news there are
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was radicalized, communicating with jihadist sympathizers here at home and overseas. our justice correspondent has late details. pete williams. >> reporter: rumors are analyzing a trove of evidence found in farook's house including cell phones officials found indicationings that he was communicating by phone and social media with people in the during the past year who showed an interest in radical jihad. another important discovery, they say, an explosive device left behind by farook and malik at the shooting scene. three pipe bombs tied together with a remote-controlled detonator. inside the shot-up suv, officials say was the remote control itself made from the controller for a mold car. that same design, investigators say, was used by the tsarnaev brothers to set off the boston marathon bombs. based on instructions from the online magazine "inspire." whether that same design was available somewhere else from a
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u.s. officials are looking at farooq's overseas travel, twice to saudi arabia, where he said he met his wife, and to pakistan where she comes from. on the other hand, the victims were people farook knew and worked with. >> we don't know whether this is work place rage or something larger, or a combination of both. >> reporter: investigators also say the attacks were planned well in advance. police and federal agents found a dozen pipe bombs and 4,500 rounds of ammunition in the house. the suv get away car by farook three or four days ago. >> this took days, out. theres nothing impulsive about this shooting at all. >> reporter: with all that fire power, did they have other attacks in mind? >> we don't know at this point the extent of their plans. we do not know their motivations. >> reporter: tonight, farook and his wife
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electronic tracks before the shooting, erasing e-mails and destroying computer hard drives and cell phones. despite everything, the couple was apparently plotting in secret, it appears they were careful not to raise suspicions among those around them. stephanie gosk spoke some members of a muslim community who knew mr. farook and never saw this coming. >> reporter: syed farook came to this mosque to heat up his lunch. >> we never saw him curse anyone, disrespect anyone. he was a nice guy. >> reporter: the assistant imman had no idea until three officers showed up at his home. >> i opened the door and a gun pointed at my face with a flashlight. >> reporter: all three of the men are shell shocked by the news. >> he was an american citizen. he had a good paying
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he was living the american dream. >> reporter: gruk graduated from college and worked as a health inspector. public records show he made more than $70,000 a year, certifying restaurants like this pizza place. when he was looking for a wife on dating sites, he was described as calm, cool and thoughtful. he liked to hang out in his backyard and shoot target practice with friends and was looking for a girl who would have the same outlook and wear hijab. he found her. tashfeen malik, a pakistani. they got married in saudi arabia two years mosque in mecca. >> imagine to say i got married in the islam? >> reporter: farook helped his wife get a visa to the u.s. when malik got pregnant, she registered at target, car seat, diapers, but behind the seeming normalcy they were becoming radicalize. >> did your mosque
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>> that will be the question a lot of people will ask. >> there is nothing radical in islam. nothing radical at all happen here. >> reporter: hours after the shooting, the mosque became a target for anti-muslim hatred. >> look at the harm that came out of it, that today we are fearing for our lives. we are fearing for the muslim community. >> reporter: standing out in front of the couple's home, it's still being searched by law enforcement. just a few months ago, farook visited that mosque we were in today. he brought his wife with him for the first time. she was dressed in full traditional muslim dress that just shows a woman's eyes. she didn't say a word, but the men we spoke with today said nothing seemed out of the ordinary with the couple. turned out that was the last time they saw them. lester? >> stephanie gosk, thank you. we want you to hear more from survivor patrick bacari we heard from
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report a few moments ago. he shared a cubicle with syed farook and were sitting at the same banquet table before farook disappeared a trip to the bathroom may have saved his life because the horror was unfolding on the other side of the door. >> somebody asked, where is syed? i didn't realize he wasn't there at the moment. i left to use the rest room, hear explosions. i look back at the mirror and see i'm bloodied on my face. we secured the rest room so nobody could enter. i laid on the floor and put my feet against the door and i had the other gentleman beside me do the same. >> did the gunman come into the rest room? >> he wasn't going to be able to get in. i guess if he did, it would be over our dead bodies. when the s.w.a.t. team came, we tried to run as fast as we could away from the building. i told them i was a medic. one of my good friends was shot. i tried to render aid with minimal equipment we had. she got shot multiple
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bullets lodged under the skin on her wrist. that wasn't where the entries were. just take each day as cherished as can be. >> describing the massacre that claimed the lives of so many of his colleagues. 14 people, as we mentioned, were lost in this massacre in a matter of minutes. 14 victims killed in a place where they had little or no reason to fear for their safety. nbc's morgan radford as has more about what we learned. >> reporter: this is the moment ryan reyes found out his partner died. ryan hoped daniel kauffman made it out of work alive. >> i immediately freaked out, tried to call him, text him. >> reporter: today kaufman was listed among the 14 people killed at the inland regional center when an office holiday party became a target. among them, michael
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damien meins, sara claiborne. nicholas thalasinos, a loving husband. >> i'm sure he went down fighting and protecting people. >> jennifer says he knew the begunman syed farook. >> he knew syed. he worked with him. he never had anything bad to say about him. >> reporter: thalasinos often wore traditional tassels. his wife thinks he may have been targeted. >> i feel my husband was martyred. maybe they did get into an argument because my husband is outspoken. >> reporter: tense moments unfolding with each passing minute. >> we'll leave it for the patients to tell their own stories. >> reporter: families of survivors speaking out. kathy's sister denise was shot, the bullet
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>> the bullet is still somewhere in her abdomen. we are waiting. >> reporter: waiting and praying. >> you never think it's going to hit that close to home until it happens. >> reporter: but it did families asking for support and answers. lester, more victims are expected to be positively identified in the coming hours, but in the meantime, there is a vigil scheduled to honor those lives already lost. >> morgan radford, thank you. >> even as the country mourns those victims, it is facing a political firestorm over the mass shooting here. reigniting a polarized and angry back and forth over guns, religion and terrorism. as nbc's andrea mitchell tells us, the arguments started almost immediately. >> reporter: the gun had barely fallen silent before both sides went to their corners. republicans tweeting their prayers for the victims and denouncing islamic terrorism. democrats focusing on guns. >> right now, it's
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we can take basic steps that would make it harder, not impossible, but harder for individuals to get access to weapons. >> reporter: donald trump slammed the president with innuendos. >> radical islamic terrorism. i'll tell you what, we have a president that refuses to use the term. he refuses to say it. there's something going on with him that we don't know about. >> reporter: it's a political divide graphically illustrated in today's new york tabloids. "muslim killers" versus "god isn't fixing this." a liberal blogger set off a tweet storm calling out law makers who offer prayers but oppose new gun laws, pointing out how much money they received from the nra. >> all these law makers have ben thinking and praying and doing nothing at all. >> reporter: the senate defeated a democratic proposal that would have
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terror watch list from buying guns. if you are too dangerous to fly in america, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in america. >> reporter: donald trump bragged all this is helping him. >> every single time there's a tragedy, my poll numbers go up. >> reporter: the nra won every vote today. the president seems resigned that congress simply won't act. >> andrea, thank you. still ahead, the threat from within. neither suspect was on the radar of u.s. authorities, so can anything be done to protect americans from home grown plot if it doesn't set off the usual alarms? this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her she's agreed to give it up. that's today? we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. after the deliveries, i was ok. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back? for my pain,
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the attack in san bernadino underscore as very big challenge facing u.s. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. trying to find potential extremists here at home. american citizens who may become radicalized through the internet, flying quietly under the radar while plotting to launch an attack. nbc's tom costello looks into the staggering task. >> reporter: with overseas terror attacks in mali and paris serving as fresh evidence of jihadi-inspired brutality, federal law enforcement has an all-consuming priority, tracking home grown suspects who could become radicalized over the internet and engage in lone wolf attacks at home. the fbi tracking 900 potential suspects, 50 considered a top concern.
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focuses primary on troubled souls in america being inspired or enabled online to do something violent for isil. >> reporter: we don't know if san bernadino suspect syed farook had terror ties, but he represents the challenge facing law enforcement today. he was off the radar, american born, no criminal record, not on the terror watch list. over the last two years, the fbi has arrested 70 suspects in isis-inspired plots. 546 them u.s. citizens. the vast majority, american born. >> the ability of isis to lever social media to radicalize more people and reach more people is there. it's difficult for law enforcement to challenge it. >> reporter: the home grown terror threat very real. july 16th, four marines and a sailor killed at a recruiting center in chattanooga. april 2013, four dead, 260 wounded in the boston bombing attacks. november 2009, major nadal hasan killed 13 and wounded 32 at ft.
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challenge of tracking home grown terrorists, last week homeland security said it was not aware of any specific terror threat. a few days later, san bernadino. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we are back in a moment with a mother who got a call no parent could be prepared for amid the california. erectile dysfunction get and keep an erection. talk to your doctor about viagra. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain or adempas for pulmonary hypertension. your blood pressure could drop to an unsafe level. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing.
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should not delay in leading a global coalition to take out isis with overwhelming force. their aim is our total destruction. we can't withdraw from this threat or negotiate with it. we have but one choice: to defeat it. vo: right to rise usa is responsible for the content of this message. perhaps the only thing more painful than knowing your child is hurt or in grave danger is knowing you can't reach them or help them. i spoke to lisa stevens today, a psychotherapist who was with a patient yesterday when she got the kind of phone call that could knock a parent to her knees. it was her 22-year-old daughter jennifer. >> i just noticed my phone kept going off so i picked it up finally and asked my patient if it would be okay to take this call because it's my daughter. she said, of course. i picked it up and she told me she had been
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you heard a lot of noise in the background on the phone. >> how do you begin to come to grips with that? >> i just sort of told my patient that i had gotten that call. >> what did she describe about the attack? >> she said there was somebody pounding on the doors, let us in. finally somebody opened the doors and they came in. they're on like a break. they were doing a training with a holiday party. that she thought it was a joke. when she actually didn't realize until she looked down and saw she was hit. she keeps saying sandbag. i don't know what she meant by that. >> a bean bag? >> she thought that's what it was. she had a wound. >> this whole community's sense of security has been shattered. how is yours? >> my sense of security -- i don't know. it's crazy. things are just out of control.
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to do. i've got to tell you, i keep focusing on the fact my daughter, i didn't get that phone call other families got. >> after our conversation, lisa escorted me up to her daughter's hospital bedside to say hello. no cameras. jennifer is in amazing good spirits and had a the shooting. one thing she mentioned that stood out to me was she heard one of the attackers say either "thank you" or "finally" before they began shooting, the meaning which is one information investigators are trying to unravel. when we come back here tonight, some final thoughts from san bernadino as authorities weigh whether to label what happened here as terrorism. our parents worked hard so that we could enjoy life's simple pleasures. now it's our turn. i'm doing the same for my family. retirement and life insurance solutions from pacific life can help you
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our collective sense of security and how we decide as a nation what we can and are willing to do about it. those sublabels of terror do not differentiate the depth of sadness, frustration and even anger, over 14 people losing their lives at work just because. that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. phil! oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right? r jingle jingle. if you're peter pan, you stay young forever. it's what you do.
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