Was The San Bernardino Massacre Really ISIS-Inspired? The FBI Chief Just …

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Couple in California shootings exchanged private messages on mutual commitment to jihad.

Before they even met, the murderous married couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino bonded online over their commitment to “jihad and martyrdom,” FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday. “Before there is a physical meeting of these two people resulting in their engagement and journey to the United States, they are communicating online, showing signs in that communications of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom,” Comey said in a press conference at NYPD headquarters.The fierce debate over screening visa applicants in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks was thrown into question 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. The pair avoided broadcasting their views on social media — contrary to previous reports — in an apparent bid to conceal their sinister intentions, 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. Comey also said the July 16 attack in two military sites Chattanooga, during which five U.S. service members were killed, was “inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist propaganda.” The FBI had previously hesitated to use the word terrorism in relation to the 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. 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. 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.

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. 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 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.

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. Comey reiterated a push by many law enforcement agencies around the country to change how technology companies encrypt applications to make it easier for agents to access messages with a court order. 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. 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.

It not only would help explain how they carried out the attack, but whether there were warning signs that law enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies may have missed. “It’s not a lack of competence that is preventing the Obama administration from stopping these attacks,” Cruz said. “It is political correctness. 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. 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. 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.

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