FBI Investigation Shifts to Radicalized Wife
The FBI is officially investigating the deadly mass shooting in California as an “act of terrorism,”after it was revealed that the female shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.
David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said the shooters attempted to destroy evidence, including crushing two cell phones and discarding them in a trash can.
Authorities are still investigating the motivations of the shooters and whether they were planning more attacks.
The announcement came shortly after it was revealed Tashfeen Malik, the Pakistani-born woman who, with the help of her husband, unleashed a bloodbath at a holiday banquet in California this week, pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook during the attack.
“This is looking more and more like self-radicalization,” a law enforcement official told CNN.
The revelation is just the latest in a series of grim details that have emerged about the California shooting that left 14 people dead and 21 others injured.
Malik and her U.S.-born Muslim husband, Syed Farook, fired as many as 75 rounds at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino and had enough weapons to do even more damage.
Meanwhile, thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil for the victims of Wednesdays mass shooting. The medical examiner confirmed the names of those killed in the attack, ranging in age from 26 to 60.
One of the victims, Michael Wetzel, leaves behind a wife and six children.
“They are very overwhelmed. There are six kids who have lost father,” Wetzel family spokesperson Celia Behar.
Jennifer Thalasinos lost her husband, Nicholas, in the massacre. The Times of Israel reports that weeks before the attack Nicholas, a Messianic Jew, had engaged in a heated argument with Farook about Islam.
“I actually got an extra hug and a kiss before he left, so I am just holding on to that,” Thalasinos said.
As stunned communities mourn the lives lost, more details have emerged about the suspects in the shooting. Some in law enforcement are saying Farook had ties to terror suspects.
CNN, quoting officials, said Farook had been in contact with known terror suspects overseas and had become radicalized after marrying Malik inSaudi Arabia last year.
Another reason authorities believe the shooting may be terror related is the arsenal of weapons found at the couple’s home.
Twelve unexploded bombs, which may have been made based on an al Qaeda magazine, were discovered along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.
“They were well equipped. They could have continued to do another attack,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
One neighbor’s wife had become suspicious.
“She had noticed that they had been receiving packages – quite a few packages in a short amount of time and that they had been doing a lot of work in their garage,” Aaron Elswick, Farook’s neighbor, said.
But some neighbors didn’t want to report anything because they didn’t want to be accused of “profiling.”
Meanwhile, authorities say Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia at least twice in 2013 and 2014. And some have questioned whether or not his wife played a role in his radicalization.
“Usually it’s ISIS supporters trying to radicalize young girls online as they try to find new wives, but this may be the first case I know of where the opposite happened,” Fox News quoted Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst for Clarion Project, which tracks international terrorism.
Report via CBN News
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