FBI chief: San Bernardino shooters did not publicly promote jihad on social media

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chattanooga rampage that killed four U.S. Marines was a terrorist attack, FBI says.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has approved Purple Heart awards for four Marines and a sailor who were killed in the July attack on military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a sixth Purple Heart for a Marine who was wounded and survived. The shooter who killed five people at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July was motivated by a foreign terrorist organization, FBI Director James Comey told reporters in New York on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. “We’ve investigated Chattanooga from the beginning and we’ve concluded the Chattanooga killer was inspired by a foreign terrorist organization’s propaganda,” Comey said, according to The Times Free Press of Chattanooga.NEW YORK (Reuters) – There is no evidence a married couple who killed 14 people in California this month were part of a terrorist cell, the head of the FBI said on Wednesday, confirming that investigators believe the pair were inspired but not directed by Islamic State.

The decision was announced Wednesday afternoon by Mabus’s office following an investigation and some angst from supporters about whether the awards would be approved. According to CNN, Comey added that it’s difficult to determine which terrorist group may have inspired the shooter, Mohammad Abdulazeez, 24, who killed four U.S.

The pair avoided broadcasting their views on social media — contrary to previous reports — in an apparent bid to conceal their sinister intentions, Comey said. Marines and one sailor before he was fatally shot by police. “It’s hard to entangle which particular source,” said Comey, who twice called the shooting a “terror attack,” according to Fox News. “There are lots of competing poisons out there.” • Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? For nearly two weeks, the massacre in San Bernardino has been characterized in the press and by government officials as an ISIS—or, at least, ISIS-inspired—attack. Comey said the pair smashed their devices following the attack — hampering law enforcement efforts to piece together what they did over the four hours between the shooting and their fatal police confrontation. “One of the challenges in facing this hydra-headed monster is that if (ISIS) finds someone online, someone who might be willing to travel or kill in place they will begin a twitter direct messaging contact,” Comey said.

Still want to know where they were for four hours (after the attack) and what else were they planning to do and was there anybody who helped them or assisted them in some way,” Comey said. Previously, anonymous federal officials told journalists that Tashfeen Malik, the wife of Syed Farook, had posted allegiance to ISIS via a Facebook page at the time of the attack. Comey’s latest comments on the worldwide investigation of the couple and the attack they carried out at a holiday gathering of Farook’s co-workers came as U.S.

Chuck Fleischmann, who has advocated for the servicemen who died to be awarded Purple Hearts, said, “It has been five months, to the day, since our community was struck by this horrendous attack and I am thankful the FBI has finally recognized it as terrorism. That became the strongest evidence of a possible link between the attackers and the militant group and it raised questions about whether ISIS had ordered the couple to attack or merely inspired them to carry out what became the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

The U.S. ended its system of color-coded terrorism alerts in 2011, replacing it with occasional public announcements about possible “elevated” or “imminent” threats. He said the Homeland Security agency “is especially concerned that terrorist-inspired individuals and homegrown violent extremists may be encouraged or inspired to target public events or places.” Johnson said the agency is stepping up its monitoring of social media sites to check for possible indications of support for terrorist attacks before allowing immigrants to enter the United States. Cheeley.” The July 16 attack on a naval reserve center and recruiting station was carried out by 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who was born in Kuwait and became a naturalized American citizen.

The investigation continues but we have not found that kind of thing.” In an English-language radio broadcast on the Saturday after the attack, ISIS claimed Farook and Malik as “soldiers of the caliphate” An Arabic-version of the same message referred to them as “supporters,” which the New York Times notes is a term “denoting a less direct connection to the terrorist group.” It’s also worth noting that terror outfits some times claim credit for strikes, even if they’re not directly responsbile. We didn’t monitor the Facebook posting of the female San Bernardino terrorist because the Obama DHS [Department of Homeland Security] thought it would be inappropriate. She made a public call to jihad, and they didn’t target it.” “This is not public posting, this is private messages back and forth, just like any of us emailing a friend or a family member,” Comey said of the couple’s online communications that law enforcement officials have discovered.

But he described it as an “Internet service provider communication” that is “very common” and provides both “email service and direct messaging.” Comey said that the service is used to transmit “trillions” of messages, indicating that it is ubiquitous and well known to law enforcement. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Malik “sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day.” The paper attributed the information to “two top federal law enforcement officials.” Comey didn’t specify whether the couple may have used social media services, such as Facebook, to send private messages, so the information may still be accurate.

It’s not clear from the Times story whether such posts might predate any information that Comey was addressing in his remarks, or whether they were made prior to Malik ever meeting her future husband. But Comey was adamant that even though the couple were communicating with each other about jihad and martyrdom, there was nothing that the FBI could have done to intercept and read their communications. Farook was a U.S. citizen, and law enforcement couldn’t have read his communications without a court order based on some reason to believe he was associating with terrorists. “To be clear, and I think this is the way we all want it, we don’t intercept the communications of Americans,” Comey said. “This was an American citizen communicating overseas without predication to believe they’re involved in terrorist activity.

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