One of two people accused of killing 14 in California apparently pledged allegiance to a leader of Islamic State militant group, two US government sources said on Friday (Saturday NZ Time), as intelligence officials in her native Pakistan pressed the investigation overseas.
Tashfeen Malik, 27, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, were killed in a shootout with police hours after the Wednesday (Thursday NZT) massacre at the Inland Regional Center social services agency in San Bernardino, about 100 km east of Los Angeles. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting the United States has experienced in three years.
US investigators are evaluating evidence that Malik, a Pakistani native who had been living in Saudi Arabia when she married Farook, had pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, two US officials told Reuters. They said the finding, if confirmed, could be a “game changer” in the investigation.
If these reports are correct, this is significant.
In Europe, factors in people who become jihadists are often cited as poverty, non-integration etc. And they are factors.
But episodes like the above scare people more arguably, because this is a guy who had a good well respected job. Got on well with his neighbours. Had a wife and a kid. But seemingly got radicalised through his wife who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State. And bang 14 people are dead.
Security agencies can spot and monitor the obvious radicals and extremists. But how do you prevent this from occurring?
And in three weeks, Islamic State has managed to kill significant numbers in Russia, France and now the US. That’s a major successful attack every week.