Justice

What We Know About Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino Shooters

December 3rd 2015

By:
Alex Mierjeski

Authorities are still searching for answers after a now-deceased couple entered a service provider for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino, California, and opened fire, killing indiscriminately.

On Friday, U.S. intelligence officials told news outlets that the female shooter, Tashfeen Malik, had used an alias on Facebook to post her allegiance to the leader of the self-proclaimed Islamic State as the attack unfolded, later deleting the posts. A Facebook executive also confirmed the report

A U.S. intelligence official who asked for anonymity told the Associated Press on Thursday that the male suspect involved in the shooting, Syed Rizwan Farook, had communicated with known extremists on social media who were on the FBI's watch list.

Sources told CNN Thursday that the suspect was possibly "radicalized." 

ALSO: Pres. Obama Just Talked About the Motive of the San Bernardino Shooters

Late Wednesday, authorities identified two suspects involved in the shooting as Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, a married couple with a 6-month-old baby, according to family members who spoke to the Los Angeles Times. The two reportedly dropped the child off with a grandmother shortly before the violence erupted. Both Farook and Malik were later killed by police in a gun battle following a chase.

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A motive behind the shooting, which occurred at a Christmas party for the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, was still unclear Thursday morning. Records showed that a man named Syed Farook worked as an environmental health specialist for the department, The Times reported. According to coworkers, Farook was likable and quiet, with no outward grudges. Others said they had heard the office threw the couple a baby shower, and that Farook had taken paternity leave.

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An American citizen and devout Muslim who rarely discussed religion, Farook had recently traveled Saudi Arabia, where the health inspector apparently married Malik, whom he reportedly met online, according to The Times. Coworkers said they were shocked to hear his name connected to the shooting. While a third suspect was detained, officials said in a press conference that the person was not connected to the shooting. By coincidence, however, the person had an outstanding warrant and was later booked.

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Farook and Malik were armed with two semiautomatic handguns—a Llama and a Smith & Wesson—and two assault rifles—a .223-caliber DPMS Model A15 and a Smith & Wesson M&P15, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives told the The Times. The long guns, and two others officials were looking into, were purchased legally by someone authorities said was included in the investigation, but would not name. The pistols were purchased by Farook, CNN reported.

Police officials said the couple had stockpiled enough bullets and bombs for a much larger attack. 

Early Thursday, federal law enforcement agents were still combing a home in nearby Redlands, which they said could lead to evidence explaining the motive for the attack which left 14 dead and 21 others injured Wednesday morning.

ATTN: is following this developing story. Check back for more updates throughout the day.

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