California massacre shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS: CNN

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Investigators Reportedly Find ISIS Connection to San Bernardino Shooting

A woman who joined her husband in killing 14 people in California apparently pledged allegiance to a leader of the militant group Islamic State, two U.S. government sources said on Friday, as intelligence officials in her native Pakistan pressed the investigation overseas.

Tashfeen Malik, 27, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, were killed in a shootout with police hours after the Wednesday massacre during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center social services agency in San Bernardino, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting the United States has experienced in three years.

SEE MORE: San Bernardino shooter was 'bad person,' not radical: brother-in-law

U.S. investigators are evaluating evidence that Malik, a Pakistani native who had been living in Saudi Arabia when she married Farook, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, two U.S. officials told Reuters. They said the finding, if confirmed, could be a "game changer" in the investigation.

The couple had two assault-style rifles, two semi-automatic handguns 6,100 rounds of ammunition and 12 pipe bombs in their home or with them when they were killed, officials said. A U.S. government source said because of the amount of weaponry, investigators are trying to determine if they intended to carry out a more elaborate attack.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's office said it would provide an update on the investigation at 11 a.m. PST (1900 GMT).

Learn more about the victims of the shooting:

San Bernardino shooting victims
See Gallery
California massacre shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS: CNN
Dounia Omar sets up a poster showing the photos of 14 people killed in Wednesday's shooting rampage before the start of the memorial service at the Islamic Community Center of Redlands, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Loma Linda, Calif. The FBI said it is investigating the rampage as a terrorist attack. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A picture of Juan Espinoza, a victim in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings, is shown at an interfaith memorial service at the Islamic Community Center of Redlands, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Loma Linda, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pictures of Wednesday's shooting victims are displayed at a makeshift memorial site Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 in San Bernardino, Calif. Thousands of employees of San Bernardino County are preparing to return to work Monday, five days after a county restaurant inspector and his wife opened fire on a gathering of his co-workers, killing 14 people and wounding 21. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
San Bernardino County employees hold up photos of the San Bernardino shooting victims during a candlelight vigil on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. The husband and wife who opened fire on a social services center last week had been radicalized "for quite some time" and had taken target practice at area gun ranges, in one instance just days before the attack that left 14 people dead, the FBI said Monday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

This undated photo provided by George Velasco shows Yvette Velasco. She was one of the victims of a shooting at a social service facility in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Courtesy of George Velasco via AP)

RIALTO, CA. -- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2015 -- Ryan Reyes, 32, holds a photograph of he and Daniel Kaufman, right, his boyfriend of three years who was confirmed as one of the victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center that left 14 people dead. Reyes had waited all night for word of his fate but found via phone call at about 10:30 A.M. on Thursday. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
This 2014 photo provided by Greg Fox shows Larry Daniel Kaufman, left, with his boyfriend Ryan Reyes at Comic Con in Los Angeles . Kaufman was killed in the shootings at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Greg Fox/ via AP)
RIALTO, CA. -- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2015 -- Ryan Reyes, 32, left, is consoled by his mother Patricia Reyes after finding out his boyfriend of three years, Daniel Kaufman, 42, was one of those killed during Wednesday's mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center that left 14 people dead. Reyes had waited all night for word of his fate but found via phone call at about 10:30 A.M. on Thursday. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Robert Adams. Husband to Summer. Father to Savannah. Described as "Remarkable and Ch....
My cousin's name is Isaac Amanios and he was a great human being. Thoughts and prayers are with my family back in CA.
RIP #Assyrian Bennetta BetBadal, who lost her life in yesterday's massacre in California. We can't escape.
Sierra Clayborn, 27, a county Environmental Health Specialist. Had a biochemistry degree and a promising future.
Juan Espinoza's family says health inspector loved his job and also trained Syed Farook with restaurant inspections.

Aurora Godoy 

(Photo: Facebook)

Damian Meins, 58, was retired. Was going to dress up as Santa for his family holiday pictures.
Tin Nguyen,1 of 14 people killed in #SanBernadinoShooting.Friend remembers 31y/o Santa Ana woman having huge heart
One of the victims in the #SanBernadinoShooting Nicholas Thalasinos. His wife Jenn texted me this pic of them
Michael Raymond Wetzel. He was a husband and a father to six children. Think of his family and pray for them...

Farook, a U.S. citizen born in Illinois to Pakistani immigrant parents, worked as an inspector for the San Bernardino County Department of Environment Health, the agency whose holiday party he and Malik allegedly attacked on Wednesday.

Investigators are looking into a report that Farook had an argument with a co-worker who denounced the "inherent dangers of Islam" prior to the shooting, a U.S. government source said.

While the attack may have been inspired by Islamic State, there is no evidence that it was directed by the militant group, U.S. government sources said. Islamic State, which has taken control of large parts of Syria and Iraq, took claim for the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris in which gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130.

Data curated by FindTheData

"The FBI is leading this investigation because of the possibility that this is a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

CNN reported on Friday that one U.S. official said Malik had made the pledge to al-Baghdadi in a posting on Facebook on Wednesday, the day of the attack, under an account that used a different name.

The couple's landlord in the town of Redlands opened their townhouse to media on Friday, leading to a flurry of reporters and camera crews surveying the scene.

The influx of media drew a barrage of criticism on social media, although FBI spokeswoman Lourdes Arocho said the bureau had concluded its search of the home.

While investigators left behind receipts for the many weapons and other items seized, the home was filled with domestic items, including two large boxes of diapers and an Arabic tapestry with the 99 names of God that Muslims believe were shared with them through the Koran.


Pakistani intelligence officials have contacted Malik's family in her homeland as part of the investigation, a family member said.

"I only found out about this tragedy today when some intelligence officials contacted me to ask me about my links with Tashfeen," Malik's uncle, Javed Rabbani, said in an interview. "I had heard in the news that this tragedy had taken place but I could never even imagine that it would be someone from my family. Of course, we are in shock."

He said his brother, Malik's father, had become considerably more conservative since moving with his family to Saudi Arabia a quarter century ago. [nL1N13T1HO]

Tashfeen Malik had moved back to Pakistan five or six years ago to study pharmacy, Pakistani officials said.

Christian Nwadike, who worked with Farook for five years, told CBS that his co-worker had been different since he returned from Saudi Arabia.

"I think he married a terrorist," Nwadike said.

Before going on their rampage on Wednesday, Malik and Farook had destroyed computer hard drives and other electronics, a U.S. government source said.

Twenty-one people were wounded in the attack, the worst gun violence in the nation since the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

More on the shooting from
Attackers in California shooting had thousands of bullets
US Senate debates gun control after California shooting, but no action taken
Cousin of NY Giants safety among those killed in San Bernadino shooting

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading