Investigators think that as the San Bernardino, California, massacre was happening, female shooter Tashfeen Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, three U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Malik’s post was made on an account with a different name, one U.S. official said. The officials did not explain how they knew Malik made the post.
A law enforcement official said it appeared that Wednesday’s mass shooting — which left 14 people dead and 21 wounded before the two attackers, Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, were killed in a shootout with police — may have been inspired by ISIS.
But none of the officials said that ISIS directed or ordered the attack. ISIS has called for people worldwide to launch attacks in its name, but isn’t known to have claimed credit for what happened in San Bernardino.
“This is looking more and more like self-radicalization,” a law enforcement official said.
Another official said authorities haven’t ruled out that others may have influenced this radical view. In addition, the law enforcement source said investigators have a greater focus on whether the shooting occurred after a workplace issue with religion.
Farook’s relatives had no idea why the couple burst into a holiday luncheon for Farook’s co-workers and viciously opened fire, family lawyers said. Nor did they have an idea the couple had a makeshift bomb lab in the apartment they shared with their 6-month-old daughter and Farook’s mother. Nor did they know either of them were radicalized.
“It just doesn’t make sense for these two to be able to act like some kind of Bonnie and Clyde or something,” Farook family attorney David S. Chesley told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “It’s just ridiculous. It doesn’t add up.” (continue reading)