Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who killed 14 people and injured dozens more on Wednesday, have connections to radical Islamic groups, officials say.
New details related to the Islamic terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California have emerged, revealing the possibility that the shooters were in contact with members of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Investigators believe that the female attacker pledged allegiance to the Islamic State as the rampage was ongoing.
During the jihadi attack, Tashfeen Malik posted on Facebook that she was pledging allegiance to Islamic State “caliph” Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, officials told CNN. The investigators said she used an account under a different name.
Law enforcement sources told multiple news outlets that the bombs created by the two jihadis resembled models for which instructions were provided in Al Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine, which was thought to be the creation of deceased Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki. One particular issue of “Inspire” printed a guide on “how to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.”
Awlaki – who served as the Imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia during the 9/11 attacks, then left the country to become a leader in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – has been credited as the inspiration for several other Islamic terror attacks in the United States. The Fort Hood jihadi, Nidal Hasan, had a demonstrated connection to Awlaki, communicating with Al Qaeda’s chief recruiter directly. Additionally, the Boston Marathon bombers, Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, held a collection of propaganda clips from Awlaki.
There is also the possibility that the two terrorists, while in Saudi Arabia, linked up with radical Islamic terrorist organizations.
Fox News reports that “one or both members of the couple made contact with suspected Al Qaeda terrorists,” citing investigators on the case.
Farook and Malik first met on an online dating website. The two united in Saudi Arabia, and Farook brought Malik to the United States in 2014, officials say. Malik slipped through the cracks, passing a Homeland Security counterterrorism screening as part of her receiving a K-1 visa.
Saira Khan, the sister of the male attacker, spoke to CBS Friday morning about her brother’s act of terror.
“I can never imagine my brother or my sister-in-law doing something like this. Especially because they were happily married, they had a beautiful 6-month-old daughter. It’s just mind-boggling why they would do something like this,” she said. “It makes us very upset and angry that how could you leave a 6-month-old daughter.”
The two reportedly scrubbed their social media accounts a day before committing the shootings in San Bernardino, law enforcement officials said.
Update- 2:30 PM: The FBI is officially investigating the attack as an act of terrorism.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 4, 2015
Update- 2:00 PM: Farook’s sister, who said earlier today she “can’t fathom” why her brother would commit such a heinous act, is a member of a pro-Caliphate Islamist group.
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) December 4, 2015
Update- 12:00 PM: The terrorists’ home, where Farook’s mother also resides, was described as an “IED factory” and a “bomb-making facility.”
According to CNN, Syed Farook's mother lived in the apartment that has been described as an "IED factory." She didn't notice anything odd?
— Bill Roggio (@billroggio) December 4, 2015
JUST IN: Suspected Calif. attackers' garage "was set up as a bomb-making facility," according to documents obtained by @NBCNews.
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) December 4, 2015