San Bernardino Attackers Discussed Jihad in Private Messages, FBI Says

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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The murderous married couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino communicated largely through email and direct messaging in order to conceal their sinister plot, FBI director James Comey said Wedneday. The fierce debate over screening visa applicants in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks was thrown into question on Wednesday after the head of the FBI said the married couple responsible for the shooting did not, as has been widely reported, make public social media posts supportive of jihad. Comey, in a press conference at NYPD headquarters, revealed that Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, sent private messages praising “jihad and martyrdom” but avoided broadcasting their views on social media.

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. Comey, speaking at a news conference in New York, said that investigators had found no evidence that the couple were part of larger cell or were being directed by terrorists overseas.

He said the assailants — Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook — were “consuming poison on the Internet” and becoming radicalized over a period of time. 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. That process, he said, had begun before the emergence of the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — as the global leader of violent extremism. “In San Bernardino, as I’ve said before, we see in the killers, Malik and Farook, two people who were radicalized before the emergence of ISIL,” Mr. Here’s the headline on a New York Times story that appeared on page A1 on Sunday: “Visa Screening Missed an Attacker’s Zealotry on Social Media.” The story was straightforward, noting that three immigration checks for Malik had missed something critical: “None uncovered what Ms.

Comey said at Police Headquarters in Lower Manhattan. “And so untangling the motivations of which particular terrorist propaganda motivated in what way remains a challenge in these investigations, and our work is ongoing there.” “But one thing we’re trying to understand is, ‘So where were they for four hours after the attack and what else, if anything, were they planning to do and was there anybody who helped them or assisted them or supported them in some way,’ ” he added. The couple, who had a child, killed 14 people at a holiday party in the California city last month, an attack that officials have since said was inspired by Islamist terrorists. He said he was “not yet in a position” to comment on whether family members of the attackers could have done something to flag their behavior to the authorities. “We can see from our investigation that in late 2013, before there is a physical meeting of these two people resulting in their engagement and then journey to the United States, they are communicating online, showing signs in that communication of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom,” Mr. Comey said he wasn’t yet ready to talk about whether the suspects’ family members should have alerted law enforcement, but he added, “I am highly confident that in this case, as in nearly all of our other cases involving radicalization, that somebody saw something that was concerning and obviously didn’t tell law enforcement.” Mr. It is political correctness.” Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina echoed that claim. “For heaven’s sakes, every parent in America is checking social media and every employer is as well, but our government can’t do it,” she said.

Nevertheless, the F.B.I. was able to obtain them in the days since the attacks.” The Los Angeles Times, in a Monday article, alleged that Malik had “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,” according to the report from Richard A. The government’s recent efforts to prevent radicalization and identify extremists have faced challenges, especially in communities where members are reluctant to trust law enforcement. NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said he is working with partners, including religious leaders and the Belgian police, to develop a program that will give individuals a place to turn if they see signs of radicalization in someone they know.

And straight into the political arena it went. “It’s not a lack of competence that is preventing the Obama administration from stopping these attacks. He said on the morning of the May 3 attack in Garland, Texas, one of the shooters exchanged 109 messages with a known terrorist outside the U.S., but the communications were on an encrypted mobile messaging app that couldn’t be read by law enforcement.

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