The FBI is looking into whether the mother of Syed Rizwan Farook knew of her son’s plans to carry out Wednesday’s jihadist terrorist attack in San Bernardino, attorney general Loretta Lynch said Sunday.
“Obviously it’s something that we’re looking at very, very closely,” Lynch told NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd when asked whether Rafia Farook knew about the “pipe bomb factory” her son had set up in the family’s garage.
Rafia Farook lived with her son and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. The couple reportedly left their six-month old daughter with her before embarking on Wednesday’s attack, which left 14 dead. (RELATED: Shooter’s Father: Farook Told Me He Supported ISIS, Al Baghdadi)
Farook and Malik were killed by police hours after the attack.
At least 15 pipe bombs were found at the Farook house. The couple also had thousands of rounds of ammunition, raising questions over whether Rafia Farook knew that her son was plotting a violent attack. Investigators are now looking into whether Farook and Malik were planning additional attacks.
On Friday, reporters scoured the Farook household and filmed some of the family’s belongings. One interesting item was a certificate that could be of interest to the FBI.
As The Daily Caller reported, an MSNBC reporter held up a certificate of appreciation showing that Farook was associated with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a U.S.-based Muslim group that has ties to known terrorists. (RELATED: Shooter’s Mother Active In Pro-Caliphate Islamic Group)
The New York-based group, which was founded in 1968, has ties to known anti-Semites and Islamic radicals. Al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki spoke at an ICNA event in 2002. Al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. He had been in email contact with Nidal Hasan, the U.S. army major who killed 13 people in an attack at Fort Hood in Nov. 2009.
Another ISIS-inspired would-be terrorist arrested earlier this year for plotting a terrorist attack on New York City modeled on the Boston Marathon bombing has ties to ICNA. Noelle Valentzas was indicted in April for plotting an attack. She has given presentations at at least two ICNA events, including its 2012 national convention.
And five American students arrested in Pakistan in 2009 for plotting a terrorist attack had met at an ICNA mosque in Alexandria, Va.
ICNA is also associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, both of which seek to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state. Jamaat-e-Islami’s founder, Abul A’la Maududi, has been featured prominently in ICNA literature. His writings were banned by in Bangladesh because of Jamaat-e-Islami’s involvement in genocide in 1971 against unarmed Bengalis.