EXCLUSIVE: FBI Won’t Rule out Arresting Syed Farook’s Father

David Bowdich (Adelle Nazarian / Breitbart News)
Adelle Nazarian / Breitbart News

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Monday, David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said the FBI does not yet have enough evidence to arrest his father, who is alleged to have had information about his son’s support for radical Islamic groups like the Islamic State.

“It’s still an active investigation. We’re five days into it,” Bowdich said. “We reserve the right to take numerous actions down the line,” but noted that as of now investigators do not have all the facts necessary to take such action.

Farook’s father, also named Syed, reportedly gave an interview to Italian media outlet in which he revealed first-hand knowledge that his son supported the so-called Islamic State’s ideology.

Farook reportedly said, “my son said that he shared [IS leader Abu Bakr] Al Baghdadi’s ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State. He was also obsessed with Israel.”

Considerable evidence has already surfaced suggesting that Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who was his accomplice in the shooting that left 14 dead and 21 inured, could have been linked to to al Qaeda, the Islamic State and/or other radical Islamic terrorist groups.

During Monday’s press conference, Breitbart News asked Bowdich if President Barack Obama had been incorrect to state during his speech from the Oval Office on Sunday night that there was “no evidence” that Farook and Malik “were part of a broader conspiracy at home.”

Bowditch said, “No, he isn’t incorrect” noting that since the FBI is still in the “investigative phase,” it was likely more information would soon surface. “We are in day five.” Bowdich make it clear that the investigation “is massive in scale.”

Later, in the exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Bowdich further clarified his statement saying that “there was no intentional effort at all to leave anything out or anything like that. As far as I know, the president’s statement was accurate. But, again, he gave a statement on day four. There’s a lot of days ahead for us so we are going to continue investigating.”

Also on Sunday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told NBC News’ Meet the Press that the FBI is investigating Farook’s mother, Rafia Farook.

“Obviously, it’s something that we’re looking at very, very closely,” Lynch said.

Rafia is reportedly also an active member of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which promotes the establishment of a caliphate and is connected to a radical Pakistani political group called Jamaat-e-Islami. She received a certificate of appreciation from ICNA’s sisters wing last summer.

Addressing the press corps, Bowdich provided updates about evidence that was retrieved from the crime scene. He said there were 19 pipes that could have been used to create bombs, not 12 as originally reported. He said the items were “safely extracted from the bag” on a range nearby and then submitted to the bureau as evidence.

Investigators suggest that there was a flaw in the homemade bombs, which may have inhibited their detonation by remote control. If the bomb had gone off, many more lives could have been lost.

Bowdich confirmed reports that both Farook and Malik were “radicalized” and had participated in target practice days prior to the rampage and massacre they carried out. He said the FBI had not yet determined how they had been radicalized.

Additionally, he said, “we have found evidence of pre-planning,” but clarified his remarks by noting that they are not yet certain whether there were other people involved. “We want to find out everyone who profited from it [and] financed it… we will leave no stone unturned, just like I’ve said in the past.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.