June 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

After FBI Takes Over San Bernadino Shooting, ISIL Praises Married Shooters

"Hundreds of officers swarmed a six-block area of #SanBernardino in pursuit of suspects" Photo via Twitter/@CNN.
“Hundreds of officers swarmed a six-block area of #SanBernardino in pursuit of suspects” Photo via Twitter/@CNN.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has now taken the lead in the investigation into the San Bernardino shooting rampage that killed 14 and wounded 21, which FBI officials have said was likely an “act of terrorism.”

The Wednesday attack, was planned and carried out by Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who had been married two years and had a 6-month- old daughter.

One day after the FBI announcement, an Islamic State online radio broadcast confirmed that Farook and Malik were supporters of the terrorist group.

“Two followers of Islamic State attacked several days ago a center in San Bernardino,” media reports quoted the group from the broadcast. The group did not directly take credit for the attack, but praised Farook and Malik as “martyrs.”

The couple was killed in a gun battle with police roughly seven hours after the initial shooting at the Inland Regional Center, which provides treatment for people with developmental disabilities.

Investigators had been reluctant to classify the shootings as terrorist related because they occurred during a holiday gathering at Farook’s workplace, and there were reports he left amid a dispute with a co-worker before returning with his wife and multiple weapons.

But on Friday, local FBI officials finally made the connection.

“We are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism,” David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said at a news conference in San Bernardino.

Bowdich declined to provide specifics, but confirmed he was aware of a Facebook post made by one of the suspects pledging allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group around the time of Wednesday’s shooting.

He said “there’s a number of pieces of evidence that have pushed us off the cliff” to proclaim the investigation to be a terrorism probe.

The FBI was initially in charge of the investigation and officials said federal authorities will continue to work in “lockstep” with local law enforcement on what is expected to be a lengthy probe.   Also on Friday, authorities finally pulled the rented SUV off the street where the couple were killed and into a secured storage area. And, reporters gained access to the Redlands townhouse where the couple lived, assembled bombs in a rear garage and amassed a large cache of weapons and ammunition.   And investigators found evidence the two deleted their social media accounts and destroyed their mobile phones the day before the shootings..   But family members, in various interviews and through a family attorney, said they had not seen any evidence the U.S. born Farook, or his Pakistani wife, had been “radicalized.”

“None of the family members had any idea that this was going to take place,” attorney David Chesley said during a Friday news conference. They were “totally shocked” by what happened.     On Wednesday morning, Farook left the couple’s infant daughter with his mother, claiming he was taking his wife to a doctor’s visit and didn’t want to bring the baby along, according to Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Los Angeles (CAIR-LA) .

Farook was a five-year employee of the San Bernardino County public health agency, which was holding a holiday party when the shooting erupted.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia last year and spent nine days there before returning with a new wife he met online.

The Times and other media outlets, citing a senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Farook was in contact with a number of extremists and at least one person being monitored by federal officials, a Pakistani named Roshan Zamir Abbassi, who is an assistant Imam in San Bernardino, where Farook worshipped.

However, Abassi told The Times he barely knew Farook and only exchanged occasional hellos and goodbyes.

Law enforcement sources told NBC News that Malik pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a statement on Facebook just before she and her husband carried out Wednesday’s rampage. Investigators are reported to be looking into whether the Pakistan-born Malik radicalized her husband.

At a Thursday morning news conference, David Bowdich of the FBI said Malik came to the United States with the U.S-born Farook in July 2014 on a work visa and had a Pakistani passport. The couple married after arriving in the U.S., which enabled her to gain legal permanent resident status last year.

The attack has brought new attention to the previously obscure K1 visa program, which is reserved for the fiances of U.S. citizens. Some advocates for stricter immigration enforcement are calling for investigations into the nation’s visa screening process and for a halt to the nation’s Syrian refugee program.

“New information coming to light regarding Tashfeen Malik’s citizenship reaffirms the fact that proper screening and vetting those coming into our country, whether with a visa or as a refugee, is not always possible,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates for stricter immigration laws, said in remarks quoted by The Times.     The K1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiance of a U.S. citizen to travel to the U.S. and marry his or her sponsor within 90 days of arrival. It is one of dozens of visas that allow foreigners to enter the U.S.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said K1 applicants, like other visa applicants, undergo an extensive counterterrorism screening that includes checks based on fingerprints and facial recognition software.

Meanwhile, the FBI has established a nationwide toll free line for tips regarding the massacre. It’s (800) CALL-FBI (Option 4) or (800) 225-5324 Option 4.

Related Posts

Los Angeles County Launches Historic LGBTQ+ Commission with Inaugural Meeting

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Supervisor Hilda Solis Leads Ceremony Marking Milestone for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Los Angeles County Supervisors convened Tuesday to inaugurate the county’s...

Students for Justice in Palestine Establish Third Encampment on the UCLA Campus on June 10

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

UCLA Administration Calls in Four Police Groups Within Two Hours, Arrests 27 Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly established a third encampment on...

Los Angeles City Council Postpones Vote on Marilyn Monroe’s Former Home

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Decision on Historic Monument Status Rescheduled for June 26  After Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary decision on the motion...

AMC Theatres Unveils Eight Money-Saving Deals for Summer Movie Season

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Enjoy Discounted Tickets, Special Promotions, and Fan Favorites at AMC If you are a movie lover who has not been...

Hang-Ten Therapeutics-Surf Therapy for Kids: Catching Waves and Finding your Calm

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A different type of therapy is making waves in Los Angeles. Hang-Ten Therapeutics, founded by Naomi Matanick, a licensed pediatric...

(Video) The Opening of Pico Roots Marketplace in Santa Monica

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Lots of friendly vendors with wonderful gifts, cards, clothing, decor, and coffee beans available at 1819 Pico Boulevard. @centurycitywestwoodnews The...

Tien Pham Connects Personal History with Role in Robert Downey Jr.’s “The Sympathizer”

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Family’s Harrowing Escape From Vietnam Mirrors the Acclaimed HBO Max Series Vietnamese American actor-musician-producer Tien Pham finds a deep connection...

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Debuts Refreshing Summer Menu with New Boba and Matcha Drinks

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Enjoy Four New Beverages and Exclusive Boba Happy Hours from June 10 to June 13 The Coffee Bean & Tea...

FDA Issues Warning on Potentially Contaminated Shellfish from Oregon and Washington

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Shellfish From These Areas Carries Risk of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning The FDA has issued an alert advising consumers, restaurants, and...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Student Protesters at UCLA Set Up a Third Encampment on Monday Afternoon

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

UCPD and the UCLA Administration almost immediately called in UCPD, LAPD, Culver City Police Department and California Highway Patrol officers....

Pride in the Park: Love, Music, Glamour and Excitement

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Photos from the Concert and Event For Pride 2024 As Pride Month marches on, 2024’s Pride in the Park, produced...

Shutters on the Beach Brings Beachside Spring Celebrations 

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

As spring unfurls with super blooms and sunsets after 7pm along the California coast, Shutters on the Beach emerges as the most...

In-N-Out Has Raised Prices Again, But Is It Really About Minimum Wage?

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Prices at the Southland Restaurant Chain Have Been Rising for Years The prices at one of Southern California’s favorite burger...

Mar Vista Residents Alarmed by Surge in Aggressive Coyote Encounters

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

String of Attacks on Pets, Daily Sightings Intensify Community Concerns Coyotes are unnerving residents in Mar Vista after a series...

Hotel Casa Del Mar: The Epicenter of Springtime Diversions

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Hotel Casa Del Mar stands as a beacon of vibrant coastal charm on Santa Monica Beach. Perfectly poised, the hotel’s...