SAN BERNARDINO, Calif./WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – The FBI is investigating this week’s massacre of 14 people by a married couple in California as an “act of terrorism,” officials said on Friday, noting that the female shooter had pledged allegiance to a leader of the militant group Islamic State.
Tashfeen Malik, 27, a native of Pakistan who lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 20 years, and her U.S.-born husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, were killed in a shootout with police hours after the Wednesday attack during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center social services agency in San Bernardino, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles.
If the investigation does prove that the attack was the work of people inspired by Islamist militants, it would be the most serious such attack since Sept. 11, 2001.
Malik had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an online post, David Bowdich, assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Los Angeles office, said at a news conference.
“Based on the information and the facts as we know them, we are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism,” Bowdich said.
Asked about a reported Facebook post by Malik on the day of the attack pledging loyalty to Islamic State, Bowdich said, “Yes, there was a pledge of allegiance.”
But a U.S. government official said there was no evidence that Islamic State even knew who the shooters were.
Islamic State, which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq, took claim for the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris in which gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130. Read More