The married couple who carried out the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday may not have any direct ties to the terrorist group ISIS, according to authorities.
People reports that although the ISIS claimed that Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, were showing support for the group when they opened fire on a group of Farook’s co-workers at Inland Regional Center, investigators haven’t found any evidence that links the couple, both deceased, to any part of the terrorist group.
“We already know this couple was radicalized. They were terrorists. We established that. But we have no direct evidence of ties to any specific wing of ISIS or anyone else.”
Yet, this still doesn’t necessarily mean that the terrorists were involved with ISIS, per retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona, who said that members of the ISIS group who carry out terrorist acts are known as “knights” or “soldiers,” but the married couple was simply referred to as supporters.
“What they’re calling these two are supporters, which is kind of a lesser level, indicating it might not have had direct contact with the couple.”
On Friday, the FBI searched the couple’s Redlands, California, home, but due to orders to seal the evidence, they aren’t disclosing what was found. An anonymous officer, however, indicated that the attacks were looking more like something the couple planned out themselves without assistance from ISIS.
“This is looking more and more like self-radicalization.”
Meanwhile, President Obama will make a primetime address on Sunday night. He plans to encourage Americans to not succumb to fear, according to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
“I think what you’ll hear the president say is to call on the American people to not give into fear. You may hear him call on Congress to review measures and take action as well.”
The motive behind the shootings still remain unclear. The couple were said to have lived quiet lives with their 6-month-old daughter in a rented home. Numerous friends and relatives expressed surprise and shock at what transpired, with many stating the Farook was a devout Muslim who didn’t believe in violence. The one exception so far is Farook’s father. The Italian newspaper La Stampa quoted Farook’s father as saying his son supported ISIS efforts and ideas.
“He said he agreed with (IS chief Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi’s ideas for creating the Islamic State, and he was obsessed by Israel.”
Authorities also believe that Malik, who spent time in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, played a major part in radicalizing her husband.
“We pray to God to accept them as martyrs.”
[Photo Courtesy of Joe Raedle/Getty Images]