Woman at centre of FBI investigation of California terror attack

Written by admin on 14/11/2018 Categories: 老域名出售

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A change came over Tashfeen Malik two or three years ago. She started dressing more conservatively, covering nearly her entire face, and became more devout in her Muslim faith, according to some who knew her in Pakistan.

But her path to the bloody events of this past week, when she and her husband killed 14 people at a holiday luncheon in California, remains a mystery. FBI officials, family lawyers and others say they knew little about the 29-year-old Malik before the explosion of violence.

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As the FBI announced Friday that it is investigating the shooting as a terrorist attack, law enforcement authorities and others offered evidence that Malik had become radicalized and had shared her beliefs online.

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A U.S. law enforcement official said Malik used a Facebook alias to pledge her allegiance to the Islamic State group and its leader just before the shootings.

A Facebook official said Malik praised Islamic State in a post Wednesday, around the moment the couple stormed a social service centre where her husband’s co-workers had gathered.

Hours later, she and her American-born husband, Syed Farook, 28, were killed in a shootout with police.

The U.S. official and Facebook figure who discussed Malik’s postings spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the matter publicly.

FBI Director James Comey would not discuss whether anyone affiliated with Islamic State communicated with Malik, but he said there was no indication yet that the couple was part of a larger cell or was directed by a foreign terror organization.

If the rampage is proved to be terrorism, it would be the deadliest attack by Islamic extremists on American soil since 9-11.

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Lawyers for Farook’s mother and three siblings described Malik as “just a housewife” who was quiet like her husband and strictly followed Muslim custom. She wore traditional clothing that covered her face so her male relatives didn’t even know what she looked like, according to the lawyers.

Malik arrived in the U.S. in 2014 on a Pakistani passport and a fiancee visa but had spent extended periods of time in Saudi Arabia. Farook, a restaurant inspector, was born in Chicago to Pakistani parents and raised in California. The couple had a 6-month-old daughter, now in the care of social service workers.

Malik started studying pharmacy at Bahauddin Zakariya University in the Pakistani city of Multan in 2012, said the university’s vice chancellor, Tahir Amin. It was not immediately clear whether she graduated.

A maid who worked in the Multan home where Malik lived said Malik would travel back to Saudi Arabia to be with her family when school was out. During her time in Multan, her style of dress became more conservative over time, the maid said.

The maid said Malik initially wore a scarf that covered her head but not her face. A year before she got married, she started to dress more conservatively and covered all but her nose and eyes, the maid said. The maid spoke on condition of anonymity because did not want to jeopardize her employment.

A relative of Malik’s in Pakistan said the young woman apparently became a more devoted follower of the Muslim faith in the past few years.

Terrorist Attacks and Threats in California | FindTheHome

Hifza Batool told The Associated Press that other relatives have said that Malik, who was her step-niece, used to wear Western clothes but began wearing the hijab head covering or the all-covering burqa about three years ago.

“I recently heard it from relatives that she has become a religious person and she often tells people to live according to the teachings of Islam,” said Batool, a teacher.

The Farook family attorneys, David Chesley and Mohammad Abuershaid, said none of his relatives had any indication either Farook or his wife held extremist views.

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“If the most evidence there is to any affiliation is a Facebook account under another person’s name … then that’s hardly anything at all,” Chesley said.

An Islamic State-affiliated news service called Malik and Farook “supporters” of their Islamist cause but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack.

Farook went to the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah of America mosque in San Bernardino every day but abruptly stopped coming three weeks ago. While many members said they knew Farook and described him as quiet and very studious, “no one knows anything about his wife,” said Mahmood Nadvi, son of the mosque’s founder.

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