National Security

Report: San Bernardino Attacker Pledged Allegiance to Islamic State

A SWAT vehicle carries police officers near the scene of the San Bernardino shooting / AP

Federal investigators believe that the female suspect in Wednesday’s gun attack in San Bernardino, California, pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State on social media.

CNN reported Friday that officials close to the probe said investigators have evidence that Tashfeen Malik, 27, expressed her allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a Facebook post while the attack was occurring late Wednesday morning.

According to one official, the female suspect posted to a Facebook account bearing a different name than her own. It is unclear how investigators know that she posted the message.

The FBI is treating the San Bernardino attack as a possible terrorist investigation after finding evidence that the second suspect, 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook, had contact with Islamic extremists. Law enforcement officers also found a dozen homemade pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition at the home of Farook and Malik, who were husband and wife.

Farook, a U.S. citizen who has been described as a devout Muslim, traveled to the Middle East multiple times, once to Pakistan to bring back Malik, a Pakistan national who he met online.

Wednesday’s shooting took place at a holiday party for San Bernardino County’s health department at the Inland Regional Center. Farook, who worked as an inspector for the health department, attended the party.

Officials maintain that a motive in the attacks remains unclear and that any terrorism connection is uncertain.