Couple Practiced at Shooting Ranges Before California Attack

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Radicalized’ couple practiced at Los Angeles-area shooting ranges before deadly attack.

A Muslim couple who had been radicalized ‘for some time’ planted pipe bombs in a San Bernardino social services building set to go off when first responders arrived at the scene as the duo gunned down 14 people at a holiday party last week, investigators have said. SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Just days before he carried out an attack that killed 14 people, Syed Farook practiced with a rifle during one of several recent visits to a local shooting range, authorities said.Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department got a tip that several weeks ago, a man matching Syed Rizwan Farook’s description and another man tried to get into a high-rise building in downtown L.A., according to a law enforcement source. It was also revealed on Monday that a $28,000 deposit was made into Syed Farook’s bank account on or around November 18 from WebBank.com – about two weeks before Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, carried out the shooting on Wednesday.

Both the LAPD and FBI are investigating, said the source, who stressed that such reports are fairly common and that they have no evidence Farook was the man. As more information emerges surrounded the gunmen, growing evidence shows that they may have had outside help in carrying out the attack on Farook’s coworkers, which the pair seem to have intensively planned. An instructor at Riverside Magnum Range — about 20 miles from the Inland Regional Center where the two targeted Farook’s co-workers a few days later — said Farook visited the range on Nov. 29 and 30. The characterization of the husband and wife team, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, came as F.B.I. investigators were leaning away from the theory that Ms. John Galletta said Monday that nothing was out of the ordinary about Farook’s behavior, but that he asked a representative why his rifle might be smoking, and was told it was most likely because it was new.

Investigators have interviewed more than 400 people since Wednesday’s attack but are still trying to determine how long they plotted the massacre and what links if any they had with Islamic terrorist groups. It was not clear whether Farook attended the autumn 2014 training session on how to react to a workplace gunman, said county spokeswoman Felisa Cardona. I will tell you right now, we don’t know those answers at this point.” The FBI was working Monday to confirm reports that Malik, who was born in Pakistan, had ties to Islamabad’s Red Mosque, which is notorious for its connections to Islamic fundamentalism, an FBI official said. After the couple was killed last week, police said they discovered 19 pipes that could have been turned into bombs at the suspects’ apartment in Redlands, a town near San Bernardino, and a dozen explosive devices the two had apparently already constructed at their home.

Asked whether in hindsight he or others at the range should have been suspicious of Farook, Galletta said: “How are you able to determine what somebody’s intents are?” “We have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time,” said David Bowdich, chief of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said at a news conference Monday. Malik, a Pakistani who officials said spent much of her life in Saudi Arabia arrived on a “fiancé” visa, which allowed Farook to petition for her entry ahead of marriage. Investigators are now looking into whether the $28,000 transaction was a loan, since Farook earned $53,000 a year as an environmental health inspector for San Bernardino County, according to Fox News. Farook, a 28-year-old born in the U.S. to a Pakistani family, and Malik, a 29-year-old immigrant from Pakistan, were killed in a gunbattle with police hours after the bloodbath.

Although there is no evidence that the shooting was part of an international plot, federal officials are urgently trying to track the backgrounds and contacts of the couple. WebBank.com, a Utah-based company, describes itself on its website as ‘ a leading provider of national consumer and commercial private-label and bank card financing programs’ on a nationwide basis.

Meanwhile the political fallout from the massacre as sparked a row after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a halt to all Muslims entering the US until Congress can act. The loan and cash withdrawal were described as ‘significant evidence of pre-meditation’, a source told Fox News, which further undercuts the possibility of the shooting stemming from a disagreement at a work Christmas party. Two employees who survived the attack said colleagues reacted Wednesday by trying to do as they had been trained — dropping under the tables and staying quiet so as not to attract attention.

He is now reportedly answering investigators’ questions. ‘Right now our major concern at the FBI, the ATF, and the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) is determining how those firearms, the rifles in particular, got from Marquez to Farook and to Malik,’ assistant special agent in charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, John D’Angelo, said on Monday. He said that the two killers had “gone down the dark path of radicalization” but that there was no evidence they were part of a larger conspiracy or were directed by an overseas terror organization.

FBI agents are also looking into evidence of pre-meditation with an SUV rental charge that was processing on Farook’s account on November 30, two days before the shooting. Newly released emergency radio transmissions from the fast-moving tragedy show that police identified Farook as a suspect almost immediately, even though witnesses reported that the attackers wore black ski masks. The reopening of much of the government’s offices signaled an effort to return to normal for a community in shock and mourning. “To honor them, to express our gratitude for their unimaginable sacrifice, we have to fight to maintain that ordinary,” county Supervisor Janice Rutherford said of the victims. “We can’t be afraid of our lives, of our community, of our neighbors, of our co-workers.” On Monday, federal authorities confirmed that Farook’s former neighbor, Enrique Marquez, legally purchased in California the military-grade rifles used in the attack and provided them to Farook. Farook made visits to the Riverside range and fired both and AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun on the Sunday and Monday before the massacre, spending several hours there during one session.

The shooting range’s owner Peter Lee said that he had been on a cruise in the lead-up to the shootings, but that the FBI contacted him on Wednesday night and later took his video surveillance and financial statements. An official familiar with the FBI investigation told ABC News that the elder Mr Farook has made multiple lengthy trips to Pakistan, including this and last year.

Authorities said he has since checked out and been questioned by the FBI, which is interested in learning when and why he provided the guns to Farook. An image emerged on Monday showing Farook and Malik as newlyweds entering the United States upon their arrival from Saudi Arabia last year – as the FBI revealed that both shooters were radicalized. Many weren’t even aware that the couple had welcomed their first child in May 2015. “At this time I feel like he had a double life,” Saira Khan, Farook’s sister, said in an interview with ABC News. “I feel like he was very good at concealing everything from all of us.

Malik also spent a year studying at an Al-Huda center, a conservative religious school for women in Multan, a city in central Pakistan, officials said Monday. The photograph depicts Malik, 29, dressed in a black hijab on her head and what appears to be a matching dress, staring stone-faced straight into the camera in her first moments on US soil. Farrukh Chaudhry, a spokeswoman for Al-Huda, an international chain of religious schools geared toward educated and often affluent women, said that Ms. While in Multan, she also attended a religious school, which Pakistani intelligence officials on Monday identified it as the Al-Huda International Seminary. She enrolled in a two-year course to learn the Muslim holy book, Quran, its translation and interpretation but did not finish the course, Chaudhry added.

Critics in Pakistan have long said that Al-Huda, which urges women to cover their faces and to study the Quran, spreads a more conservative strain of Islam. Malik was a student there from April 17, 2013 until May 3, 2014, when she handed in her last paper in the first-year curriculum, the spokeswoman said. At Al-Huda’s office in an upmarket residential neighborhood, a coordinator, Alia Qamar, described her as a typical student. “She said she was leaving to get married,” said Ms.

Malik and fellow students studied and interpreted the Quran — a typical line of study at Al-Huda, which focuses heavily on Islamic scripture. “Quran for all; in every hand, every heart,” reads the slogan on the group’s website. The group also provides charitable services like education scholarships and a marriage bureau to help religious parents find suitable spouses for their children. The organization’s founder, Farhat Hashmi, is based in Canada, but she has a large following in Pakistan, which has grown partly through the use of social media.

Police: Student stabbed at Baltimore high school dies

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Police Identify Student Killed In City School Stabbing.

Baltimore police spokesman T.J. The teen had been in class on the third floor of the school building in the 1300 block of McCulloh Street when a sophomore went into the classroom and stabbed him at approximately noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24, police reported. Police said Sunday that investigators are collaborating with the state’s attorney’s office to file additional charges now that the victim has died. Crawford remains in police custody, officials reported. “It’s a tragedy anytime we have someone killed in an act of violence, even moreso when it’s a child.

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