(JNS.org) One of the 14 victims of the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., was a Messianic Jew who purportedly had previously gotten into a heated debate with one of the shooters over the nature of Islam.
Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, was a fellow health inspector with one of the terrorists, Syed Rizwan Farook, Thalasinos’s wife Jennifer told the Los Angeles Times.
“My husband was just a very devout believer,” she said. “He became born again a couple of years ago and because of that I had a very strong faith, so I know that he’s in a much better place.”
Messianic Jews are a controversial Christian group whose adherents believe that Jesus is the Messiah, but incorporate many Jewish components into their faith. While no major Jewish denomination accepts the followers as Jewish, many are often former Jews and support Israel.
Only two weeks ago, Thalasinos, who had pro-Israel views, apparently got into a heated argument with Farook about the nature of Islam.
Thalasinos’s friend, Kuuleme Stephens, told The Associated Press that she called him while he was working with Farook and that amid their debate, Thalasinos declared 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.”
Jennifer Thalasinos told The Associated Press that Farook and her late husband “probably did have debates,” but that she “never got the impression it was in a bad way.”
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the San Bernardino shooters swore allegiance to the Islamic State terror group during the attack. According to CNN, the female shooter—Tashfeen Malik—posted a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, U.S. officials said.