Brother of San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik says family in Saudi Arabia is …

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

FBI, ATF Divers Resume Searching Lake In San Bernardino For Digital Evidence.

On Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey told senators that the person who opened fire at an anti-Prophet Muhammad event in May sent more than 100 encrypted messages to someone overseas, and the FBI couldn’t read any of them. “I’m not questioning their motivations,” Comey said of companies who encrypt their data. “The question we have to ask is, ‘Should they change their business model?'” In theory, a “back door” would let law enforcement gain insight into secret terrorist communications — if those terrorists were limited to a handful of regulated apps.The tearful mother of a man who authorities say bought two assault-style guns that were used by his friend Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in last week’s mass shooting, broke her silence Thursday saying her son is a ‘good person.’ Investigators say Chacon’s 24-year-old son, Enrique Marquez, who was related through marriage to Farook, may have planned a previous attack with the US-born terrorist in 2012, but the two ended up shelving the plot after the arrests of four men in Riverside, California, among them a jihadi recruiter.

Terrorist Tashfeen Malik tried unsuccessfully to contact multiple Islamic militant groups in the months leading up to the San Bernardino attack, according to officials.SAN BERNARDINO ( — An FBI dive team Friday continued to search a small San Bernardino lake for digital evidence as part of an investigation into the shooting massacre that claimed the lives of 14 people and injured nearly two dozen others. Disclosures of her to extremists abroad surfaced as the investigation of the Dec. 2 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles, appeared to take a new turn with divers searching a small lake near the scene of the massacre. Around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, federal agents received several leads that San Bernardino shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were believed to have visited Seccombe Lake following the shooting on Dec. 2 to remove evidence. “We are building a timeline of everything we know to ensure that we can retrace every step they took,” said FBI Director David Bowdich. “We’re just trying to ensure we account for every minute of the time that day.” Federal agents explained there is a missing hard drive from a computer that was found in the home of Farook and Malik. The number of organizations that Malik, 29, tried to contact and how she sought to reach them was unclear, but the groups almost certainly included al Qaeda’s Syria-based official affiliate, the Nusrah Front, the government sources said.

Many of them were created outside of the U.S., meaning that even if Washington created laws demanding Silicon Valley create “back doors,” the foreign apps and services wouldn’t have to comply. Terrorists worried about government surveillance have another option: building their own apps, much like Al Qaeda did with Asrar al-Mujahedeen, a program it created in 2007. My world is upside-down,’ she said. ‘My life changed Wednesday.’ The Los Angeles Times reported that she cried throughout the 10 minutes she talked to reporters off camera, saying, ‘I want this to stop,’ before returning to the house.

One source said investigators have little, if any, evidence that Malik or her husband had any direct contact with ISIS, even though the husband and wife had pledged allegiance to the extremist group in a Facebook posting just before the December 2 attack that killed 14 and wounded 21 others. That is just one several encrypted messaging apps created by terrorist organizations over the last few years, according to a report from threat intelligence firm Recorded Future. Militant groups sought out by Malik likely ignored her approaches because they have become extremely wary of responding to outsiders they do not know or who have not been introduced to them, sources said. ISIS also creates its own smartphone apps, like Amaq, an Android news app recently discovered by a group affiliated with the anti-terrorist hacker collective Ghost Security Group.

Following Farook and Malik’s deaths in a gun battle with police, officials discovered exterior shots of schools on the man’s cell phone, raising concerns that he may have been scoping out possible targets while working as an environmental mental health inspector. Also on Thursday, FBI and sheriff’s divers began scouring Seccombe Lake in downtown San Bernardino, just a couple of miles from the site of last week’s terrorist attack, in search of a computer hard drive the couple were said to have discarded, according to unnamed sources speaking to CNN. The ceremony took place at the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco, according to the marriage license, though the mosque’s facility manager denied it occurred there. If the massacre proves to have been the work of killers inspired by Islamic militants, it would mark the deadliest such attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2011. Not all encryption tools, however, are created equal. “It’s relatively easy to put together an application that uses encryption,” Jonathan Katz, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland, told NBC News. “It’s more difficult to build an application that’s end-to-end secure.” Your average computer science graduate should be able to build encryption software that keeps away scammers, he said.

The FBI chief also confirmed that the agency was looking to see if Farook had links to Sohiel Kabir, a naturalized US citizen of Afghani descent who was sentenced earlier this year to 25 years for arranging for three men to travel to his native country to kill US troops. Kabir, 37, was identified as the ringleader who converted two of the terror suspects to Islam after meeting them at a hookah bar and then recruiting them to provide material support to terrorists abroad.

Katz pointed to the Heartbleed bug as an example of how even vetted encryption technology, in that case OpenSSL, can be vulnerable to implementation errors. Quality encryption also relies on high-quality randomness, which, if lacking, can allow hackers to derive the encryption key without breaking the underlying system.

Jerry Morgan, owner of Morgan’s Tavern in Riverside where Marquez worked as a doorman, characterized his former employee as ‘just a mellow kid’ and told NBC Los Angeles that the 24-year-old never discussed religion at work. The attack by Farook, the U.S.-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and Malik, a Pakistani native he married in Saudi Arabia last year, has heightened security concerns in the United States and become an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and John Mulligan, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, briefed members of both houses of Congress on Thursday about the investigation in closed, classified sessions. “The current impression is that these two people were acting alone,” U.S. Jim Risch, a Republican who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, confirmed that Marquez and Farook ‘were plotting an actual attack’ in 2012, including buying weapons, but became apprehensive and shelved the plan because of law enforcement activity and arrests in the area.

But he added that he was troubled by the fact that the couple had tried to cover their tracks by destroying their cellphones and other electronic equipment. Prosecutors said Deleon, 26, and Kabir followed the teachings of violent jihad by Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who was a key al-Qaida figure and was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said Malik had listed a false address in Pakistan that screeners did not catch. Investigators also have been looking into the relationship between Farook and Enrique Marquez, a boyhood friend and Muslim convert who purchased the two rifles used in the attack. Marquez, who is related to Farook’s family by marriage – his wife and the wife of Farook’s older brother are sisters – has not been charged with any crime.

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