The San Bernardino shooters had been radicalized for quite some time, according to the FBI. This is a photo of the couple when Syed Farook brought his Pakistani wife into the country from Saudi Arabia. (https://twitter.com/NBCInvestigates/status/674216555975213056)
It has become increasingly clear to the FBI that the couple involved in the San Bernardino shootings, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, had been radicalized long before the massacre they committed. The FBI also suspects that they received assistance from others and more arrests could be made in the coming days.
In an updated press conference on Dec. 9, 2015, the FBI said that both Farook and Malik show signs of having been radicalized before they even met each other. Farook’s childhood friend and neighbor, Enrique Marquez, claims that the two considered committing a terrorist act a few years ago, but changed their minds. In addition, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday during testimony on Capitol Hill that the Farook and Malik were talking about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and before he went to Saudi Arabia to meet her.
Evidence Against the San Bernardino Shooters Released by FBI
Authorities have also investigated a number of other indications that the couple was preparing to commit an act of terrorism for some time … probably for more than a year. Below are some of the facts that the FBI released during recent press conferences:
- The FBI has video of both shooters practicing at a number of Los Angeles area shooting ranges. Just a few days prior to the massacre, Farook was seen practicing by himself at one range. However, is was also obvious to the police that Tashfeen Malik was very proficient in handling her weapon … particularly when she was shooting at the police from the rear window of the rented SUV they were using.
- An unusually large wire transfer of $28,500 was received from WebBank.com by Syed Farook on or about Nov. 18, about two weeks prior to the shooting. The FBI suspects the money was intended to fund this attack or an even larger one.
- An FBI spokesman, David Bowdich, the F.B.I. assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles field office, said in a press conference, ” We have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time.” In fact, after interviews with friends and associates, the FBI has concluded that Mr. Farook had militant views before he met Ms. Malik online and married her in Saudi Arabia. Investigators originally believed that he changed after meeting his wife. However, it has become evident that he was developing those beliefs long before he met her.
- Enrique Marquez a former security guard and convert to Islam was questioned by the FBI all day on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, about the automatic weapons which he purchased and later transferred to the Farooks. They want to know whether he knew about the attack in advance. They also questioned him about how the weapons were transferred from Marquez to Farook. The FBI stated that Marquez provided them with information about the shooting that was previously unknown to the FBI.
- In addition to Marquez being a long-time friend of Farook and the original owner of some of the weapons used, Marquez and his wife are both under investigation because his wife is a Russian immigrant whose sister also married into the Farook family.
Investigation of San Bernardino Shooters Includes Research in Pakistan
Although the FBI has emphasized that they do not yet have any information about any specific outside organization that may have radicalized the couple, they will continue to investigate this possibility as long as it takes.
Investigative reporters are also trying to interview people who knew Tashfeen Malik while she was in a pharmaceutical school for women in Pakistan. Although the school she attended was known for its conservative religious beliefs, the administrators of the school insist that there is nothing in what they teach that would have encouraged the young woman to become an assassin.
Some reporters have run into difficulties in trying to find out more about Malik, as the Tweet below about the experience of a Washington Post reporter indicates:
Report on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Dec. 8, 2015
CNN, NBC and ABC Twitter accounts
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