Fact Check

Sausage Pest

A claim that the San Bernardino shooting was due to pork served at a Christmas party was fabricated.

Published Dec. 4, 2015


[green-label]Claim:[/green-label] The San Bernardino shooting occurred because Syed Rizwan Farook believed pork served at a holiday party was an insult to Islam.


[green-label]Example:[/green-label] [green-small][Collected via Email, December 2015][/green-small]

"Received a post showing 95.1 FM, NYC story that San Bernardino killings were over pork being served at holiday event. "Insult to Islam."

[green-label]Origins:[/green-label] On 2 December 2015 the web site Superstation95 published an article titled "SAN BERNADINO [sic] KILLINGS WERE OVER PORK BEING SERVED AT HOLIDAY EVENT! 'Insult to Islam,'" claiming:

The killings in San Bernadino, CA on Wednesday, took place because a County Employee who was Muslim went berserk over Pork being served at the Christmas Party event!

According to eye witnesses who were in the Inland Resource Center in Loma Linda, CA and attending the Christmas Party where the attacks took place, Muslim employees of the county had previously asked that Pork products not be served.  When one of those Muslims arrived at the event and saw that, in addition to many other foods, Bacon and Pork Sausage was being served, he angrily confronted other party-goers - allegedly saying "I'm tired of these insults to Islam" - and then stormed out of the event.

Notably, there doesn't appear to be any "Superstation 95.1" operating in the New York City area (as the web site claimed): a list of radio stations in New York only recognized WAOI in the Rochester area as broadcasting on that frequency. No social media accounts were linked to any Superstation 95.1, and links from the web site to Facebook led to default plug-in pages (not active or existing accounts for any radio station). A Twitter account linked from the site began tweeting on 11 October 2015:

A subsequent tweet announced:

Turner's Wikipedia page describes him as a "white nationalist" who was sentenced to prison for threatening federal judges:

Harold Charles "Hal" Turner (born March 15, 1962) is an American white nationalist, Holocaust denier and blogger from North Bergen, New Jersey. In August 2010, he was convicted for making threats against three federal judges with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to Turner's arrest, his radio program, The Hal Turner Show, was a webcast from his home once a week.

That page linked to Superstation95 as Turner's then-currently active site. On 26 February 2015, NJ.com published an article titled "'Shock jock' Hal Turner says government will hear his 'wrath' in new radio show." That piece reported Turner planned to return to radio in October 2015:

After more than two years in prison and several unsuccessful bids to have his conviction overturned, 'shock jock' Hal Turner is returning to radio with the promise to unleash his 'wrath' on the federal government.

Turner plans to launch the "Hal Turner Show" on Oct. 7 on WBCQ, an international shortwave radio station based out of Monticello, Maine. The station carried Turner's show prior to his arrest in 2009, and Turner promises to tear into the U.S. government for how he was treated.

His return to radio coincides with the end of his supervised release, which banned him from owning a website or working on radio. The show will return to his original call-in talk show format, but will not feature the "violent racism" he adopted after being hired as an FBI informant, Turner said. This kind of rhetoric was used to "flush out crazies to thwart acts of violence," he said.

Aside from a single "report" on a web site that served as a base for Turner's new venture, no credible media outlet has reported (even without substantiation) that the San Bernardino shooting was motivated by pork served at the holiday party during which the massacre occurred. Superstation95 cited neither specific sources nor any media outlet, and we were unable to locate any other assertions that eyewitnesses claimed any such thing. Previous hoaxes perpetrated by Turner included claims about a surreptitious new currency, Amero notes.


[green-label]Last updated:[/green-label] 4 December 2015

[green-label]Originally published:[/green-label] 4 December 2015

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.