SAN BERNARDINO , Calif., Dec. 8 (UPI) — The couple who killed 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., had long been radicalized and spent time at a gun range to target practice in the days before the terrorist shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
FBI investigators Monday said the husband and wife team, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were equally radicalized, going against the previous theory Malik, who pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack, led Farook to violence. The couple had long planned the attack, honing their shooting skills at ranges across the Los Angeles area.
“As the investigation has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time,” David Bowdich, the FBI assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles field office, said.
Investigators said Farook and Malik planned the attack that also left 21 injured after they opened fire at a party for the Department of Public Health, where Farook worked. The FBI said investigators found 19 pipes in a search of the couple’s home that could have been used for pipe bombs.
So far, more than 400 people have been interviewed and some 320 pieces of evidence have been documented in a “massive” investigation.
The couple had a stockpile of weapons and ammunition. Investigators said Farook purchased three firearms legally. Two assault rifles used by the shooters were allegedly purchased by Enrique Marquez, a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent.
Marquez, Farook’s former neighbor and childhood friend, checked himself into a mental health facility after the shooting. The FBI is continuing to determine how the rifles got from Marquez to Farook.