Shooting Suspects Had Enough Weapons And Bombs For Another Attack
Investigators have begun looking into the possibility that it was an act of terrorism but have not yet come up with any clear motive or conclusions. President Barack Obama said the FBI would be looking into every possible angle. "At this stage we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred," Obama said. "It is possible this was terrorist-related... it is possible this was workplace-related."
At a press conference on Thursday morning, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said that Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the two suspects linked to the mass shooting, had over 1,500 rounds of ammunition on them in their SUV when they were both killed in a shootout with police on Wednesday afternoon. A search of their townhouse in Redlands later that evening uncovered over 5,000 rounds of ammunition, along with 12 pipe bombs and "hundreds of tools that could be used to construct IEDs or pipe bombs." At the Inland Regional Center, where Farook and Malik killed 14 and injured 21 earlier that morning, police also discovered three pipe bombs that were designed to detonate remotely, but failed to do so.
"There was some planning that went into this," said Burguan. "Certainly they were equipped and they could have continued to do another attack [but] we intercepted them."
According to authorities, the four weapons found on Farook and Mailk were legally purchased, with the two 9mm handguns bought by Farook himself. Farook had no previous criminal record, said Burguan.
At the same press conference, David Bowdich, the FBI assistant director of the Los Angeles Field Office, emphasized that investigators have yet to determine Farook and Mailk's objectives. "We do not yet know the motive," he said. However, authorities appear to be looking into the possibility that it was a combination of terrorism and a workplace grievance. Previous reports had indicated that Farook was at the Inland Regional Center for a work banquet held by the San Bernardino County Health Department and left the event upset before returning with his wife and opening fire.
"You don't take your wife to a workplace shooting, and especially not as prepared as they were," a senior law enforcement official told the New York Times. "He could have been radicalized, ready to go with some type of attack, and then had a dispute at work and decided to do something." Anonymous law enforcement officials told CNN that Farook was apparently radicalized and in touch with suspects that are under investigation for international terrorism, but Farook and Malik themselves had never been previously suspected by the FBI and authorities have otherwise not come forward with that conclusion.
Farook, a graduate of CSU San Bernardino, had worked at the San Bernardino County Health Department for five years as an inspector. Colleagues say he wasn't suspicious, but rather quiet and cordial. He was a U.S. citizen born in Illinois to Pakistani parents and came from a turbulent home life. An L.A. Times report described his father, also named Syed Farook, as an alcoholic and abusive towards his wife, Rafia. In October of 2008, a court granted Rafia legal separation from the elder Syed.
In an online dating profile on the website iMilap.com, Farook describes himself as coming from a "religious but modern family" and enjoyed "working on vintage and modern cars, [reading] religious books" and "doing target practice" in his backyard.
Farook frequently traveled to Saudi Arabia—in 2013, he went for the hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca—and when he returned from a trip in July of 2014, coworkers told the L.A. Times he came back married, with his wife, Mailk.
Mailk, according to officials, was a Pakistani woman who entered the United States with a K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé visa. Together, they had a six-month-old daughter. Coworkers had recently thrown a baby shower for Farook.
On Wednesday morning, the San Bernardino County Health Department was using a room in the Inland Regional Center for a work banquet. Farook was in attendance but mysteriously disappeared, "angry" after a dispute of some sort according to Burguan. He later returned, just before 11 a.m., with his wife, both dressed in tactical gear and armed with assault rifles, and fired 65 to 75 rounds in the room. "They sprayed the room with bullets," said Burguan. "I don't know if there was any one person they targeted."
Earlier that morning, the couple dropped their daughter off with Farook's mother, telling her that they had a doctor's appointment. Rafia Farook later heard there was shooting at Syed workplace and was concerned about her son. She later found out he had been named as a suspect.
Update, 5:00 p.m.: Recently released photos show the pipe bombs left at the Inland Regional Center, attached to a toy car used as a remote device, and a duffel bag in Farook and Malik's Redlands home full of the explosive devices:
According to CBS News, the bombs are "nearly a carbon copy" of the device that the al-Qaeda manual "How To Build A Bomb In the Kitchen of Your Mom"—from their online magazine Inspire—provides instructions for. Two to four devices were found fully constructed, while over a dozen were found partially assembled. Also found throughout the home were the component parts recommended in the manual, such as Christmas lights, remote controlled cars, and smokeless gunpowder.
Authorities are unsure whether Farook and Malik got the instructions from Inspire or elsewhere.
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