December 2105 – CALIFORNIA – Islamic State said on Saturday that the married couple who killed 14 people in a mass shooting in Southern California were its followers, and FBI agents raided a home apparently belonging to a friend of the husband. Islamic State’s claim came in an online audio broadcast three days after U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, opened fire with assault rifles on a holiday party for civil servants in San Bernardino, 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles. The pair, who had left their six-month-old baby daughter with relatives, were killed two hours later in a shootout with police SWAT team members. Federal agents searched a home in Riverside, a few miles (km) southwest of San Bernardino, on a street where neighbors said Farook once lived. An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the search, but declined to give details.
A garage door and a window at the home were broken. Neighbor Hellen Fernandez said that when Farook lived on the street, he appeared to be friends with a man at the house. NBC News said the house belongs to a man who authorities believe bought the rifles used in the attack. As the investigation continues, the White House said President Barack Obama will address the nation to update the public and talk about terrorism. If the Dec. 2 mass shooting proves to have been the work of people inspired by Islamist militants, it would be the deadliest such attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.
FBI officials leading the probe say the couple seem to have been inspired by foreign militant groups, but that there was no sign they worked with any of them or that Islamic State even knew who they were. Estranged relatives of Malik say she and her father seemed to have abandoned the family’s moderate Islam and become more radicalized during time they spent in Saudi Arabia. While Obama’s team has not yet found evidence the couple was part of an organized group or broader terrorist cell, it said on Saturday that “several pieces” of information “point to the perpetrators being radicalized to violence.” If that turned out to be the case, Obama said in a radio address, it would underscore a long-recognized threat: “the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies.” –Reuters