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San Bernardino attack Victims Sue Google, Facebook, Twitter over aiding Terrorism

Family members of the San Bernardino attack victims are suing Twitter, Facebook and Google accusing them of providing platforms that aid terrorists. The lawsuit filed on behalf of families of three of the victims of the December 2nd attack mirrors similar suits filed in cases involving terror attacks in Orlando and Dallas. The Lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles’ Federal court accuses the 3 tech giants of aiding and supporting terrorism by providing material support to these groups and are liable for the death of several victims of the December 2, 2015, attack.

The ISIS supposedly inspired Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook, the couple that carried out the attack. According to authorities, Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State Group on her Facebook page around the shooting time, which wounded 22 people.

The same law firm filing this suit has sued the same companies severally, with some of their lawsuits being dismissed because federal laws shield online providers from taking responsibility for the content posted by their users.

The lawsuit claims that without YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, the tremendous growth of the Islamic State Group would not have been remotely possible. It also claims the tech giants are liable for aiding & abetting acts of terrorism as well as providing support to designated foreign terror groups.

The law filed against the tech giants was on behalf of Tin Nguyen, Nicholas Thalasinos, and Sierra Clayborn, who were among the 14 killed by the terrorist duo of Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook. On Dec. 2nd, the couple targeted a Christmas party in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead and 22 others injured.

Currently, Facebook and Twitter claim to be doing everything in their power to prevent such instances where terror groups use their sites. All three companies have expressed their sympathy to the victims of the unfortunate event, and they have stated that they are not liable for the terror attack. They also argued that the families of the victims relied on a speculative chain of events to blame the tech giants for gunmen’s self-radicalization.

The companies further stated that accepting such claims would expose online platforms to possible liability for every terrorist attack in the world. Simply because the terrorist are affiliated with the online platforms does not mean that they supported the terror attack.

Shortly after the attack, James Comey-FBI Director- said that there was connected to a larger terror network although there were signs foreign terrorist organizations inspired them. Comey also said that the internet allows the opportunity for users to consume information and radicalizes.

Investigators also uncovered private messages sent by Malik to a Facebook group of Pakistani friends, pledging her support for Islamic Jihads and expressed her desire to join their fight. On the day before the shooting, Malik used Facebook to pledge her allegiance to ISIS. Facebook stated that they saw they post and alerted the FBI before they took it down.