FBI Counterterrorism Division Probing San Bernardino Attack

A SWAT vehicle carries police officers near the scene of the San Bernardino shooting / AP
December 3, 2015

The FBI’s counterterrorism division is probing the San Bernardino, California, shooting after pipe bombs were found at the suspects’ home, according to law enforcement officials.

The New York Times reported that federal investigators are now treating Wednesday’s shooting as a possible terrorism case. The news follows a report that one of the suspects, 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook, recently traveled to Saudi Arabia.

Farook and the second shooting suspect, wife Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a shootout with police Wednesday following a car chase. Law enforcement officers found thousands of rounds of ammunition for assault rifles and pistols in addition to a dozen homemade pipe bombs at their home in Redlands.

The FBI has also reportedly found evidence that Farook had made contact with Islamic extremists at home and abroad over several years. Farook, a U.S. citizen who was born in Illinois to Pakistani immigrants, has traveled to Saudi Arabia multiple times. He also visited Pakistan last year and traveled back with Malik, whom he met online.

The shooting took place at the Inland Regional Center Wednesday morning during a holiday party for San Bernardino County’s public health department. Farook, an inspector for the health department, attended the event.

The suspects fled the scene in a black SUV after the shooting, which killed at least 14 people and wounded 21 others. Police found an explosive device at the scene, of which they safely disposed.

David Bowdich, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said that the FBI is looking into whether the design of the explosives found in the suspects’ home was taken from al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine.

Officials still maintain that the motive in the attack is unclear and that they are unsure of any terrorism connection.

Published under: Terrorism