US Visa Process Missed San Bernardino Wife’s Zealotry on Social Media

13 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Enrique Marquez who purchased California shooter’s weapons was associated to him by marriage.

The federal investigation into the shooting spree in San Bernardino is reaching a critical juncture: Who were the two shooters talking to leading up to the attack? Malik, who was born in Pakistan but raised in Saudi Arabia, carried out the atrocity with husband Syed Rizwan Farook during a holiday party for Department of Health workers on December 2.RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The man who purchased two assault rifles used in the San Bernardino massacre was more than just a friend to the gunman — he was also a relative.San Bernardino plot thickens: ‘Nerdy’ neighbor who bought guns for San Bernardino shooter and may have planned earlier 2012 attack with Farook was also married to his sister-in-law (but she lived with another man) As the FBI probes whether the marriage between Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik was arranged by a terror group, questions have been raised over the union of another couple linked to the killers.Senator Lindsey Graham raised the possibility that the pair could have been brought together by terrorists in Congress today, after it was revealed they were radicalized before they started dating.

After opening fire at the Inland Regional Center, California, Malik and Farook went on the run before being shot dead in a hail of bullets by police several hours later. When Graham put the prospect to FBI Director James Comey, he said: ‘I don’t know the answer to that yet,’ but added that it is ‘a very, very important thing to know’. But several federal law enforcement officials said in interviews Friday and Saturday that they also most likely were in direct contact with one or more foreign terror operatives, either together as a couple or individually. Gulzar Ahmad Malik, Tashfeen’s father, spoke to journalists from Saudi Arabia today saying that he is ‘very, very sad’ in the wake of the attacks.

The relationship may have been a sham, however, as Chernykh regularly posted images of herself with another man, Oscar Romero, along with pictures of a girl the pair refer to as their daughter. It was previously believed that Malik, from Pakistan, had become radicalized long before her husband, perhaps dating back to her time at university in 2009 when family members say she became much more conservative and started wearing a full-body veil. As opposed to the terrorist attack in Paris last month, Comey said officials believe Farook and Malik radicalized “in place,” drawing inspiration from international terrorist groups, but not necessarily training or instructions.

According to an investigation, Russian-born Chernykh came to the U.S. in 2009 in order to visit her sister Tatiana, who was already living legally in this country. A “law enforcement official briefed on the investigation” told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Marquez had helped Farook plan an attack somewhere in the United States in 2012 but abandoned the idea. Farook, 28, a public health inspector, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, used the guns to ambush his colleagues Dec. 2 at what was supposed to be a festive annual meeting of county employees, killing 14 people and wounding 21. Her future husband, Farook, also became radicalized around this time – though this was before the couple met via the internet, dating for a short time before getting married in 2014. That was the year that four Inland Empire men — residents of Pomona, Ontario, Upland and Riverside — were and the Taliban to kill Americans, although it was not known if that was related to Marquez and Farook calling off their alleged plot.

Comey added that his agency believes the pair were inspired by foreign terror organizations, but is still investigating which group they were affiliated with. In addition, agents have recovered two smashed cellphones from a dumpster, which with other items from the couple’s Redlands home are being examined at the FBI’s crime lab in Quantico, Va. But immigration officials do not routinely review social media as part of their background checks, and there is a debate inside the Department of Homeland Security over whether it is even appropriate to do so. Earlier, a man who came out of the Marquez house, who declined to give his name, said the family had already spoken to the authorities and would not be speaking with the media. The FBI has labeled the killings a terrorist attack and investigators are also trying to determine if Farook had abandoned plans to launch an attack in 2012, according to two people familiar with the investigation who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

On a subsequent citizenship application, Raheel Farook is shown acting as a guarantor for Marquez, vouching that he had enough money to support his new spouse. In all, these items are surfacing as key pieces of evidence in what eventually will unravel the mystery behind the worst terror attack in the U.S. since the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. At one point the pair lived next door to one-another in Riverside, California, before Farook moved to Redlands, where he was living at the time of the attack, police said. The family members added that the first alarm bells began ringing when she returned to Pakistan in 2009 to go to university, and started posting extreme religious messages on Facebook. While Farook had several prominent dating profiles on sites such as Dubaimatrimonial, BestMuslim and iMilap, Malik does not appear as a member on any of these.

On one of his Russian social media accounts, Romera refers to Chernykh as his wife, while several of her Russian accounts show that she was using his last name. Meanwhile Farook’s family have repeatedly stated that they are ‘shocked’ at the shooting, and say they had no evidence he held radical views before last week. Friends of Farook, who attended Mosque with him, agreed – saying he even spoke about ISIS within them an condemned the attack on the Russian jet liner in early November.

Marquez, whose security guard license in California expired last year, had worked at Wal-Mart since May, but has since been fired, spokesman Brian Nick said. According to the news channel, a senior State Department official confirmed that Malik was mostly quizzed on her relationship to Farook, to check the partnership was genuine.

Following his deadly attack, investigators reportedly found multiple photos on Farook’s cell phone depicting Carter High School in the city of Rialto. However, that response is unusually slow for the jihadist group, who usually release video within hours of an attack to praise the ‘lions of the caliphate’ for an attack. That has raised suspicions among security circles that the jihadists did not know of Malik and Farook’s plans, and only claimed responsibility after they pledged allegiance.

Does that make sense?’ ‘He said something along the lines of there’s Muslims in our own backyard just ready to go haywire and attack and we didn’t think nothing of it,’ Stone said. According to education officials, it is usual for inspectors to take pictures of food preparation and service areas – but highly irregular for them to take images of the exterior buildings. In the end they scrapped their plans following unrelated FBI arrests of four people accused of trying to travel abroad to take part in jihad, US officials told . Randy DeAnda. “A student called another student on a blocked number and told them there was a bomb in their backpack that was set to go off in 3 seconds,” he said. “We lost a little bit of our innocence, we lost a little bit of our heart,” Rep.

But the screenings are an example of the trade-offs that security officials make as they try to mitigate the threat of terrorism while keeping borders open for business and travel. “We run people against watch lists and that’s how we decided if they get extra screening,” said C. Viviana Ramirez, 23, a fellow student with Marquez at Riverside Community College, told the Los Angeles Times they bonded over a mutual desire to join the military.

Bush’s administration. “In cases where those lists don’t hit, there’s nothing that distinguishes them from people we would love to welcome to this country.” Ms. Tommy Lopez, who said he became friends with Marquez after meeting at a punk rock show seven months ago, said he never talked about his wife and was not religious. One of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, had been in contact with an Islamic State recruiter known as Mujahid Miski, whose real name is Muhammed Abdullahi Hassan. Shortly before the Garland attack, Simpson and Nadir Soofi pledged allegiance to “Amirul Mu’mineen,” or the “the leader of the faithful,” what authorities believe refers to the Islamic State leadership. As a precaution, authorities sent in bomb-sniffing dogs to one of those schools, Arroyo Valley High School the day after the shooting rampage that killed 14 and wounded 21 others.

Employees at a Walmart Supercenter in Corona, California, 20 minutes by car from Riverside, said Marquez has been working there as an asset protection and customer specialist for about six months. The departments declined to provide any documentation or specifics about the process, saying they cannot discuss the case because of the continuing investigation. The officials said the FBI lab’s science and technology teams probably will be able retrieve any erased communications the couple tried to hide by smashing phones or sinking a hard drive, and restore their digital past.

Meanwhile, a debate is underway at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that approves visas and green cards, over whether officers conducting interviews should be allowed to routinely use material gathered from social media for interviews where they assess whether foreigners are credible or pose any security risk. Ashlee Sims, 25, a security guard at the Walmart, on Sunday described Marquez as ‘weird’ and ‘awkward.’ He is quiet, but likes to go out and party, Sims said.

Investigators based that line on inquiry on evidence left behind on Farook and Malik’s computers and digital devices, not all of which the couple were able to destroy before they were killed. But the source cautioned that Farook may have had a legitimate reason to have the images because his work as a county health inspector involved checking on school dining facilities. Today the government focuses its attention on people in certain fields or from certain countries — foreign scientists, for instance, or young men from the Middle East.

She had no contact with any militant organization or person, male or female.” She said her sister was religious, studied the Quran and prayed five times a day. “She knew what was right and what was wrong,” Fehda Malik said. In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, she posted a remark on Facebook beside a photo of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center that could be interpreted as anti-American.

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