Tashfeen Malik, the terrorist who killed 14 people on Dec. 2 in San Bernardino with her American-born husband Syed Farook, told U.S. immigration officials that she was pregnant when she applied for a K-1 fiancée visa in 2014.
The admission may be less scandalous than it appears–and more nefarious. Malik and Farook had already had an Islamic wedding in Saudi Arabia by the time they applied for a civil marriage license in the U.S., the Los Angeles Times notes. The child would have been conceived subsequent to that marriage. However, the Times suggests, the child may have been used to bolster evidence that the couple’s relationship was legitimate, helping her application.
The Times reports:
Tashfeen Malik apparently claimed she was pregnant when she was interviewed by a visa officer after she had applied for permanent U.S. residence in the fall of 2014.
A note scrawled in red ink on a page in Malik’s application reads: “applicant is pregnant due on 05-21-15,” a congressional official who has reviewed her immigration record said Monday….
The couple had left their 6-month-old daughter with a relative before the attack. They managed to conceal their growing attraction to jihadist violence until the day of the massacre, when Malik used Facebook to pledge allegiance to the head of Islamic State.
Malik apparently became pregnant after her arrival in the U.S. in July 2014, applying for the K-1 visa a month later.
There are several examples of young Muslim women acting as terrorists, including pregnant women, but examples of mothers who leave their children in others’ care while carrying out terror and/or suicide attacks are very rare.