The FBI has concluded that the San Bernardino shooters were radicalized well before they opened fire at an office holiday party last week, and said Monday the couple had been practicing their aim in the days leading up to the terror attack.
“We believe that both subjects were radicalized and for quite some time,” FBI spokesman David Bowdich said Monday, referring to the husband and wife duo, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Authorities “have evidence” they practiced their aim at gun ranges in the Los Angeles area within days of the attack, Bowdich added.
After Farook reportedly got in an argument with a co-worker regarding Islam at the party, he left and returned 20 minutes later with Malik, carrying rifles and semi-automatic handguns. The Islamic extremists killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center, a state-run facility for individuals with developmental disabilities where Farook worked, before police tracked them down and killed them.
Malik pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook as the attack was happening.
The White House was quick to emphasize there is no evidence a terror group directed the attack, although Obama characterized the attack as “terror” in an address from the Oval Office Sunday.
Bowdich also said authorities discovered ippe bombs planted at the shooting site, which were meant to explode, killing first responders. Luckily none of the bombs detonated, an eventuality experts attribute to either water from sprinklers or a malfunction with remote control devices.
“This was meant to kill more, but also scare other future responders to attacks,” a source with inside knowledge of the investigation is quoted as saying by Fox News. “This was meant to get into the minds of medics and officers who are arriving first on scene.”
Farook’s mother, Rafia, is an active member of a Muslim organization that promotes the establishment of a caliphate and has ties to a radical Pakistani political group. An MSNBC reporter found a certificate of appreciation to Rafia from the group’s sister wing, while outlets scoured the Farook apartment in California.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.