Killers were ‘radicalized,’ practiced shooting
By Associated Press | December 7, 2015, 19:51 EDT
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The husband and wife who carried out the San Bernardino massacre had been radicalized and had frequented local shooting ranges to practice, including once within days of the attack that killed 14 people, the FBI said Monday.
Farook, a 28-year-old American of Pakistani descent, and Malik, a 29-year-old Pakistani immigrant, died in a shootout with police within hours after the bloodbath.
“We believe both were radicalized and had been for some time,” said David Bowdich, of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. But he said investigators are still trying to establish precisely when, where and by whom they may have been influenced.
On Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said among those being questioned were Rafia Sultana Farook, the mother of one of the shooters who lived with the couple and their six-month old baby. The shooters left the baby with the grandmother before driving off in a rented sport utility vehicle laden with weapons and ammunition.
Bowdich also said the Muslim couple had practiced shooting their rifles at ranges around the Los Angeles area, with one session held within days of the rampage. He said the investigation has found evidence of pre-planning for the assault.
Authorities found 19 pipes in the couple’s home in nearby Redlands that could be turned into bombs, Bowdich said.
At least six of the victims of the massacre remained hospitalized Monday, two in critical condition.
The reopening of much of the government’s offices signaled an effort to return to normal for a community in shock and mourning.
“To honor them, to express our gratitude for their unimaginable sacrifice, we have to fight to maintain that ordinary,” County Supervisor Janice Rutherford said of the victims. “We can’t be afraid of our lives, of our community, of our neighbors, of our co-workers.”
Following the attack, the county shut down all but essential services, with many of its 20,000 employees staying home. Authorities said that they tightened security at county buildings and that counseling centers and a hotline were open for employees in distress.
While most employees went back to work Monday, those at the environmental health services division, where many of the victims worked, will be off until next week.