Jewish victim of California attack had argued with shooter about Islam

(Times of Israel)

Messianic Jew Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, one of 14 fatalities, had heated debate with co-worker Syed Rizwan Farook two weeks before San Bernardino rampage.San Bernardino Victom

One of the victims of the San Bernardino shooting was identified on Thursday as a Messianic Jew who had a heated discussion with the shooter about Islam weeks before the attack.

The details came to light as investigators tried to determine whether the rampage that left 14 people dead was terrorism, a workplace grudge or some combination.

Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, passionately defended Israel, and actively debated religion in online forums and in person, his friends said. Only two weeks ago, Thalasinos was having a heated on-the-job discussion about the nature of Islam with Syed Rizwan Farook, his fellow restaurant inspector and the man police identified as the shooter.

Thalasinos’ friend, Kuuleme Stephens, told The Associated Press that she happened to call him while he was working with Farook, and that he brought her into their debate, loudly declaring that Farook “doesn’t agree that Islam is not a peaceful religion.” She heard Farook counter that Americans don’t understand Islam, and Thalasinos responded by saying “I don’t know how to talk with him,” she said.

Stephens said she didn’t sense any pending violence at the time, and it is not clear if their debates factored in the attack. Stephens said Thalasinos did not believe his co-worker would ever turn violent.

However, Stephens said his grieving wife told her later Thursday to tell the media that she now “believes her husband was martyred for his faith and beliefs.” It wasn’t immediately clear why Jennifer Thalasinos came to that conclusion.

Earlier Thursday, the victim’s wife told the LA Times that she was unaware of any friction between her husband and Farook.

“They got along,” she said. “As far as I know, [Syed] got along with everybody. That’s what’s so shocking.”

Nicholas and Jennifer Thalasinos had recently renewed their marriage vows, and they appeared together frequently on his Facebook page.

“He was a wonderful person,” said Joey Shimoni, another friend. “A great husband and just a sweet soul.”

Farook, a 28-year-old US citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, a Pakistani national who was in the United States on a K1 (fiancee) visa carried out Wednesday’s rampage at a holiday party at the California center. They were killed in a shootout with police hours after the attack.

Farook and Malik had a six-month-old baby that they left with Farook’s mother before the shooting, according to a relative.

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One Comment

  1. The Muslim terrorists had that entire office staff marked for extinction, there’s been sufficient thought given to Farook’s premeditation to kill as many employees there as possible.
    Nicholas Thalasinos was marked all the more because he was a Jew, and took part in religious debate with Farook. Thalasinos unwittingly took an innocent approach in defense of his faith and matters related to it. He must have been absolutely unaware that Farook had extreme intentions against him for merely having an office discussion which could become heated. Little did anyone of the office personnel realize that Farook had a wife at home who was dangerously indoctrinated, and he had also become that way. His American background didn’t matter where Islam was concerned. Such hate is just difficult to register in minds of those of us who were born and raised in the U.S.A.
    We now are in an expensive “learning process” and there is more dangerous exposure by the day, with the advent of Muslims being let in to our country. Certainly, it’s being done while the dangers are being purposely overlooked. It won’t be changed until Obama & Co. are gone from government.
    Then, the process of assimilation and who cannot assimilate must be brought to the fore.
    Where these Muslims are concerned, people of any other religion should avoid any conversation concerning religion, diet,loyalty to flag and country. Conversation that we normal Americans might have with fellow employees with whom we are employed is OUT with Muslims.
    We don’t know what instincts they harbor, their inner reactions are usually well-concealed, but in Farook’s case he openly argued with Thalasinos, who couldn’t regard Farook’s counter-arguments as dangerously hateful. They were.
    One cannot help but wander how these Muslims can cover their hate until they finally explode with it. But,the Farook case is not the first evidence that these people are murder going somewhere to happen.

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