SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The Pakistani-born woman who joined her husband in a violent massacre in San Bernardino on Wednesday pledged her allegiance to ISIS just moments before the attack, and her husband had been in contact with members of terror groups, reports state.
“We are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism,” David Bowdich, assistant director at the FBI’s Los Angeles office, announced during a press conference on Friday as a result of ongoing revelations.
He explained that Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, had tried to “destroy their digital fingerprints,” crushing their cellphones and throwing them in the trash, and deleting files from their computer to cover up their tracks.
Reports also state that Malik had posted on Facebook around the same time as the shooting, declaring her allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Farook had been in contact with members of at least two terror organizations, including the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in Syria.
Malik married Farook in 2014 after coming to America from Saudi Arabia on a K-1 visa, and the two had a child together six months ago. The couple left their infant daughter with family the morning of the attack, claiming that they had a doctor’s appointment. Farook’s co-workers, some of whom died in the attack, had just thrown a baby shower for Farook and Malik months ago.
“The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers, and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations,” national FBI Director James Comey outlined at a press conference in Washington. “We have uncovered evidence that has led us to learn of extensive planning.”
“We are going through a very large volume of electronic evidence,” he said. “This is electronic evidence that these killers tried to destroy and tried to conceal from us.”
Farook and Malik’s apartment has been characterized as an “IED factory” as 12 pipe bombs were found inside the residence, as well as a large amount of ammunition. Officials had also found a remote control toy in the couple’s vehicle following their death, which is believed to have been rigged to set off explosives.
The two dressed in tactical gear as they carried out their attack on the Inland Regional Center, and police found over 1,600 rounds of ammunition in their vehicle after Farook and Malik were killed during an intense shootout.
“They came prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters. “They were dressed and equipped in a way to show they were prepared . … They came in with an intent to do something.”
The FBI believes that Farook and Malik acted alone, although they were likely inspired by Islamic terror groups such as ISIS.