The FBI is now looking into both parents of California jihadist Syed Rizwan Farook – adding Farook’s father to the federal terror watch list and investigating his mother as a potential co-conspirator.
Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, were named as the shooters in the Dec. 2 killing of 14 and injuring of 24 at a Christmas party attended by San Bernardino County employees.
Law-enforcement authorities are monitoring Farook’s 66-year-old father, also named Syed, because both he and his terrorist son made trips to Pakistan. The father came to America in 1972 and became a citizen in 1999.
“Farook, although he is dead, is now officially listed by the FBI as a terrorist,” a federal law enforcement source told the New York Post Monday. “His father is watch-listed because of his close association to Farook and his extensive ties to Pakistan.”
As WND recently reported, Farook Jr. managed to fly to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia under the radar of federal authorities in 2014.
In the days following the San Bernardino massacre, the elder Farook attempted to distance himself from his son’s radical perspective, telling reporters, “His views were conservative. My views were liberal.” But the father also noted that his son had extremist views, hated Israel and had declared that “Islam will rule the world.”
Farook Sr. said his son “shared the ideology of [ISIS leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic state, and it was fixed with Israel.”
Authorities are also seeking to determine whether Farook’s 62-year-old mother, Rafia – who lived in the same Redlands apartment with her son where he manufactured pipe bombs before the massacre – knew about the terror plot, weapons and stockpile of thousands of ammunition rounds.
“The mom definitely has exposure as a potential co-conspirator,” a law enforcement source told the Post. “We are trying to uncover any evidence of her possible involvement which could lead to charges.”
FBI agents discovered shooting targets, a hammer, vise grips and an empty GoPro camera package in Rafia’s car, London’s Daily Mail reported.
While rumors had circulated that the two terrorists attached recording devices to their body armor to film the attacks, authorities have denied cameras were used to film the bloodshed.
The Daily Mail noted that GoPro cameras have been used by ISIS enthusiasts in filming online recruitment videos.
According to the report, authorities left a list of items on the front seat of Rafia’s 2005 Lexus that inventoried the items found in the search: “Apple iPhone, multi-tool, key, business card, miscellaneous indicia, bank receipt, shooting targets, hammer, vise grips, U-Haul receipt, tire receipt, notebook, garment, GoPro packaging, vacuumings, legal documents.”
Farook and Malik left their 6-month-old daughter with Rafia before they began their shooting spree. The child is now in the custody of San Bernardino County Child Protective Services.
Authorities held Rafia for questioning after the killings but released her the next day without charge.
On Sunday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the FBI is investigating to determine whether Rafia had information about her son’s plot beforehand.
“Obviously, it’s something that we’re looking at very, very closely,” Lynch said.
A family lawyer, David Chesley, claims Rafia had no idea her son was plotting to massacre his co-workers.
Yet another U.S. official told the New York Post the couple’s friends saw the two change and exhibit concerning behavior, but nobody spoke up.
“There were people within their circle who saw them change – Farook especially – and no one said a word to the authorities,” the source said. “This is of great concern to us. We need people to come forward and tell us when there is a change like this so we can do something.”
As WND reported, a man working near Farook’s apartment noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks but decided not to report anything to authorities because he worried he’d be called racist.
“We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What are they doing around the neighborhood?'” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”