The San Bernardino shooters spoke of committing a terrorist attack as long ago as 2013, says FBI Director James Comey Wednesday.
Comey’s claim means Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik may have been plotting to commit a terrorist attack before they were even married, reports The New York Times. Farook and Malik were “talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and married and were living in the US,” says Comey.
The statement raises several questions, particularly regarding what authorities knew about the couple’s early activities and when they knew it. Malik, who was living in Saudi Arabia before coming to the U.S. on a fiance visa, was likely communicating with her future husband electronically over social media or email. It is unclear if officials were aware of any such communication at the time.
“[The] investigation to date shows that they were radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online,” Comey continues. The claim brings in to question whether or not immigration and security officials missed something in Malik’s visa application process. Sen. Charles Grassley certainly seems to believe something went awry and recently said she may have given false information on her visa application.
What has become increasingly clear with this report is that they were radicalized separately before meeting each other, and before the creation of Islamic State. Comey’s statements add credence to the argument that it is possible the couple planned to get married so Malik could come to the U.S. on a visa, allowing the couple to commit an attack together on U.S. soil. The couple’s shooting rampage in San Bernardino killed 14 and injured 17. (RELATED: San Bernardino Shooter Planned An Attack 3 Years Ago)
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