Media Yawn: Feds Try to Stop $250K Insurance Payout to San Bernardino Terrorist's Mom

June 6th, 2016 8:47 PM

Last Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported the latest on the San Bernardino shooter: he obtained two life insurance policies through his employer for more than $250,000 listing his mother as a beneficiary. Now the government is trying to stop Syed Farook’s family from cashing in.

Media coverage? Not much. NPR noticed, and the New York Daily News. The Washington Post put it late in a related story on Thursday (we saw it Thursday in a brief in the Post commuter tabloid Express).  A Nexis search of network and cable news found only two anchor briefs on CNN’s Early Start (between 4 and 5 am).

Joseph Serna's Los Angeles Times story began:

The federal government is suing to stop the family of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook from collecting more than $250,000 in life insurance payments from his death.

In a complaint seeking the seizure of the money Tuesday, the government alleges that the proceeds from Farook's two policies are derived from a terrorist act.

"Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes," said U.S. Atty. Eileen Decker in a statement. "My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks."

Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on San Bernardino County workers at a holiday party Dec. 2, killing 14 and injuring 22 others.

The government's complaint, filed in a federal court in California, says Farook began planning no later than 2011 to commit terrorist attacks, and that in 2012 and 2013, he obtained two life insurance policies through his employer, San Bernardino County. The policies total $275,000, with his mother as the beneficiary of both policies.