Attack in California is investigated as an act of terrorism: FBI

The Pakistani woman, who together with her US-born husband killed 14 people in a command-style attack, is the focus of a massive FBI terrorist investigation, but she remains mysterious.

The FBI admits they know little about Tashfeen Malik. Those who visited the mosque with her husband Syed Farook said they knew next to nothing about it. Even Farook’s mother, who lived with the couple and their 6-month-old daughter, knows little about Farook’s family, according to lawyers.

The lawyers called the 27-year-old woman on Friday “just a housewife” who, like her husband, was calm and strictly adhered to Muslim customs. She wore traditional clothing that covered her face so that her brothers-in-law didn’t even know what she looked like, according to the lawyers representing Farook’s mother and three siblings.

Authorities say she ditched Muslim attire for a combat outfit on Wednesday when she and Farook attacked the San Bernardino Christmas party. A few hours after the murders, they were killed in a police shootout.

The FBI announced on Friday that it was investigating the mass shooting as an act of terrorism. If it turns out to be terrorism, it would be the deadliest attack by Islamic extremists on American soil since September 11, 2001. A US law enforcement officer said Malik had recently used a Facebook alias to express their loyalty to them the Islamic State Group and its leader to promise the shootings.

FBI Director James Comey didn’t want to talk about whether someone with IS connections was coming back, but said there was no evidence yet that the conspiracy was being led by another foreign terrorist group.

“The investigations so far have shown evidence of radicalization by the murderers and possible inspiration from foreign terrorist organizations,” said Comey. He warned that the investigation had not yet produced any evidence that the couple were part of a larger group.

Despite the signs of radicalization in the couple, there is “a lot of evidence that doesn’t make sense,” he said at this early stage.

The Farook family lawyers, Chesley and Mohammad Abuershaid, said none of his relatives had any evidence that Farook or his wife held extremist views.

“If the greatest evidence of affiliation is a Facebook account under someone else’s name … then that’s hardly anything,” Chesley said.

He and Abuershaid said the family were shocked by the attack and mourn the victims. They warned against being too quick to judge their motives.

David Bowdich, head of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said “a body of evidence” points to terrorism and the agency focused on the idea “for good reason”. He wouldn’t go into that.

Bowdich said investigators had carefully checked whether there was a connection with IS.

A Facebook official said Malik praised Islamic State at 11 a.m. on Wednesday when the couple stormed a social center where Farook’s staff from the San Bernardino County Health Department had gathered.

An intelligence service affiliated with the Islamic State described Malik and Farook as “supporters” of their Islamist cause, but did not admit responsibility for the attack.

The US official who revealed the Facebook post was not authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Facebook official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to be named according to company policy, said the company discovered Wednesday’s post the next day, took the profile out of the public eye and denied its content Law enforcement agencies reported.

Farook and Malik rented a row house in Redlands, a few miles from the scene, where investigators found an ammunition arsenal and homemade bombs.

The property owner let reporters in on Friday morning. The surreal scene – reporters walking among baby items, touching family photos and looking at dirty dishes in a sink – was broadcast live on cable TV.

Although it seemed inappropriate, Bowdich said the FBI had closed their investigation into the house. The authorities had found, among other things, two cell phones that had apparently been destroyed in an attempt to destroy the information contained therein. Investigators tried to get the data.

“We hope that this leads us to their motivation,” said Bowdich.

As of Friday, federal and local law enforcement officials said terrorism was a possibility, but the violence could stem from a grudge in the workplace. The Far family lawyers

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