Evidence that San Bernardino Gunman Planned Attack in 2012

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook / U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP
December 9, 2015

Federal investigators have evidence that San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook may have been planning an attack in California in 2012 with another individual.

CNN reported that Farook conspired with a second individual in 2012 to plot an attack and considered a specific target, according to two U.S. officials. It is unclear how serious the planning was, but one of the officials said that the two did not follow through with the plot because of a series of terrorism-related arrests in the area.

The official said that Farook and his accomplice "got spooked."

On Wednesday, FBI director James Comey said that Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who together carried out the gun attack in San Bernardino that killed 14 people and wounded 21 others, were both radicalized before they met online.

The two attackers, who were killed in a shootout with police following last Wednesday’s act of terror, were thus radicalized as far back as late 2013.

"We’re working very hard to understand exactly their association and the source of their inspiration," Comey told lawmakers on Capitol Hill. "We’re also working very hard to understand whether there was anybody else involved with assisting them, with supporting them, with equipping them. And we’re working very, very hard to understand, did they have other plans? Either for that day or earlier, and that work continues."

The FBI has been investigating last week’s shooting as an act of terrorism since evidence emerged that Farook had contact with Islamic extremists and Malik pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook during the attack.

Farook was born in the U.S. and Malik, who he met online, in Pakistan. She traveled to the U.S. last summer on a K1 fiancé visa and eventually obtained a green card.

Law enforcement sources said Tuesday that Farook and Malik prepared for the terror attack for at least a year, practicing at a gun range and making preparations to take care of their family after their deaths, NBC News reported.

Published under: Terrorism