Law enforcement officials announced new information Thursday morning regarding Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two suspects involved in Wednesday’s deadly massacre at a facility that helps disabled individuals in San Bernardino, California.
Farook was apparently radicalized and in touch with people being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The 28-year-old American allegedly traveled to Saudi Arabia for several weeks back in 2013. He took the trip as part of Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are required to take at least once during their lifetimes.Image Credit: Twitter
CNN reported that during this trip to the Middle East Farook met Tashfeen Malik. A Pakistani native, Malik then came to the U.S. with Farook on a “fiancée visa” and later became a lawful permanent resident.
Law enforcement officials also uncovered phone and social media communications made by Farook to more than one person under investigation by the FBI for potential terrorism links.
Previously, officials claimed that neither Farook nor Malik were known to the FBI, or on a list of potentially radicalized people living in the United States.
Nonetheless, authorities believe that Farook and Malik had “mixed motives” in targeting the center.
David Bowdich, the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Los Angeles Field Office, told KTLA-TV on Wednesday that he was unsure if the shooting was a “terrorist incident.” He pointed to the fact that events started at a holiday party for Farook’s former employer.
In addition, President Obama told reporters Thursday morning that:
“…we don’t know at this point the extent of their plans, we do not know their motivations.”
A press conference, given by officials Thursday, also revealed that the shooters planned on using remote-controlled pipe bombs, but they failed to detonate when activated.