FBI Director: No Evidence California Shooters Were Part Of Cell

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

California shooting: ‘No evidence Farook, Tashfeen were part of terrorist cell’.

The Muslim couple who killed 14 people when they opened fire at a San Bernardino, Calif. holiday party earlier this month were buried Tuesday at a funeral guarded by FBI agents, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were reportedly buried in a Muslim cemetery hours away from San Bernardino in a ceremony attended by about 10 people, including members of Farook’s family and people who used to pray with the couple at mosques. The Islamist militant group has “revolutionised” terrorism by seeking to inspire such small-scale attacks, FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday, noting the group uses social media, encrypted communications and slickly produced propaganda to recruit followers around the world.

An attendee told Reuters it took a week to find a graveyard willing to accept the bodies of the jihadi couple who were killed in a gun battle with police. “I don’t forgive him myself,” a mosque-goer who did not attend the funeral told Reuters. “I pray mercy for him, and we Muslims know God is merciful. Comey made his statements at 1 Police Plaza, first at the NYPD Shield Conference, which included several hundred security personnel who work in the private sector and who collaborate with the NYPD, and again at a news conference. But he’s also just.” Farook and Malik’s rampage on Dec. 2 killed 14 and wounded 22 others at a holiday party for county workers at a Southern California social services center. He also said authorities believe Mohammed Abdulazeez, the suspect in July’s fatal shooting of four US Marines and a Navy sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was radicalised by militant propaganda. “To my mind, there’s no doubt that the Chattanooga killer was inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist organisation propaganda,” he said, but did not specify any particular group. Comey revealed for the first time that the shooting deaths last July of five people after attacks on two military installations in Chattanooga, Tenn., have now officially been classified as a terrorist attack.

Comey said the Federal Bureau of Investigation currently has “hundreds” of investigations in all 50 US states involving potential Islamic State-inspired plots. I’ve seen some reporting on that, and that’s a garble.” Comey’s comments about these private messages contradicted a report in the New York Times saying that one of the attackers “talked openly on social media” about violent jihad. His remarks also undermined assertions made during the Republican presidential debate Tuesday night that the government missed warning signs that could have prevented that same attacker from obtaining a visa.

Islamic State also employs “end-to-end” encryption when communicating with individuals who it believes are willing to carry out killings in its name, Comey said. He said the threat from the Islamic State group, known as ISIS or ISIL, has not changed — but it’s vastly different from how terror cells operated around the time of the Sept. 11 attack. “Your parents’ al-Qaida is a very different model and was a very different threat that what we face today,” he said. For example, he said, some Twitter messages cannot be “unlocked” by law enforcement, making it impossible for them to track communications between terrorists. “The bottleneck here is there are a lot people who have designed these products and they can’t access it themselves because that is what the market requires,” Comey said.

These messages are distinct from a note Malik posted on Facebook after the shooting pledging her allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the militant group that says it has established a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, according to law enforcement officials. Instead, he said, “We need the public to be aware and not to be fearful, but instead have a healthy awareness of their surroundings and report something if they see something. Tells us [law enforcement], because we need your help, and then live your life and let us do our job.” NYPD Commissioner William Bratton echoed Comey’s comments. “To prevent crime, disorder and now terrorism we must go where it begins . . . in the minds of those who hate and feel victimized. Ted Cruz of Texas criticized the Department of Homeland Security and said officials had overlooked such a post. “It’s not a lack of competence that is preventing the Obama administration from stopping these attacks,” Cruz said during the debate. “It is political correctness. Investigators believe that Farook might have been taking steps in 2012 to mount an attack against a high school or college but got spooked after the men were arrested.

In the bulletin released Wednesday, the department also warned Americans to expect stronger security at public places and events as well as an increased law enforcement presence.

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