California mass shooting: A federal terrorism investigation, says FBI

Washington, Dec 5: The mass shooting in California is investigated as an act of terrorism, the FBI has said amid reports that the Pakistani woman who carried out the attack with her Pakistani-American husband had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and its leader on Facebook. "This is now a federal terrorism investigation, led by the FBI.

The reason for that is that the investigation so far has developed indications of radicalisation by the killers and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organisations," FBI Director James Comey told reporters during a joint news conference with the US Attorney General Loretta E Lynch.

California shooting an act of terrorism

The agency's director has however said that there is yet no indication that the couple who killed 14 people at San Bernardino were part of a larger plot or members of a terror cell.

US investigators had yesterday said that the Pakistani wife of the Pakistani-American man who together carried out the deadly shooting, pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook.

Officials had said that as the attack in San Bernardino was happening, 27-year-old female shooter Tashfeen Malik, a mother of six-month old baby, posted a pledge of allegiance to IS leader al-Baghdadi on Facebook.

Read More: US: Barack Obama does not rule out California shooting as terror act

While Malik was a Pakistani national, Farook's parents migrated to the US from Pakistan. Both were killed the same day by the police in an exchange of fire. A pro-IS Arabic-language news agency Aamaq had called Malik and Farook "sympathisers" of the Islamic State group but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack.

The FBI chief, however, said the first two days of the investigation has thrown no indication that the killers are part of an organised larger group or form part of a cell. "There's no indication that they are part of a network.

Again, it is early. We're still working very hard to understand. But I wanted you to know that so far we don't see such indications," he asserted. In addition to having recovering a large haul of ammunition from the couple's apartment in San Bernardino, the FBI also got huge electronic material which the couple unsuccessfully tried to destroy before being killed by the police.

"We are going through a very large volume of electronic evidence. This is electronic evidence that these killers tried to destroy and tried to conceal from us, that we now have and are exploiting to try and understand them," Comey said.


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