The California massacre on Wednesday was carried out by a devout Muslim with an “IED factory” in his garage, but President Obama still thinks an Islamic terrorism designation is premature.
Details that have emerged since Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27, killed 14 at a social services center in San Bernardino indicate the couple were Islamic radicals with a death wish. The two, who originally met online, had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia.
Law enforcement sources told CNN since the attack that Farook was in touch with terrorism suspects being investigated by the FBI.
Farook, who worked for the county health department, used multiple rifles, body armor and home-made explosives to kill his victims inside the Inland Regional Center. His getaway vehicle was rented days in advance, and yet Obama is reticent to call the attack terrorism.
“At this stage, we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred. We’ll get to the bottom of this and be vigilant getting the facts before we issue decisive judgments on how this occurred,” Obama said Thursday during an address from the White House.
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Assistant Regional FBI Director David Bowdich said the same thing late Wednesday.
“It’s possible it goes down that road. It’s possible it does not,” Bowdich said, WND reported.
Farook’s disposal included:
- Two AR-15 rifles pistols.
- Approximately 2,000 9 mm rounds and 2,500 .223 rifle rounds were found in Farook’s Redlands home.
- At least 75 rounds were expended during the couple’s attack on the Inland Regional Center.
- Police Chief Jarrod Burguan confirmed hundreds of tools for building “IEDs or pipe bombs” inside Farook’s home.
- Multiple pipe bombs and explosive devices (rigged to a remote-controlled toy car) were left at the site of the massacre.
- “Rollout bags” with multiple pipe bombs inside Farook’s rented black Ford Expedition.
A source briefed on the FBI’s investigation told Fox News on Thursday the rollout bag was a “military tactic for a sustained fight.”
“Clearly they were equipped and could have done an other attack. Luckily we stopped them before that,” Bowdich told reporters Thursday.
“It is possible that this was terrorist-related but we don’t know,” Obama added Thursday, Fox News reported. “It’s also possible that this was workplace related and until the FBI has been able to conduct what is going to be a large number of individuals, until we understand the nature of the workplace relation between the individual and his superiors, because he worked with the organization where this terrible shooting took place, until all the social media and electronic info has been exploited, we’re just not going to be able to answer those questions.”
Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker told CNBC on Thursday that the agency is using a “all hands on deck” effort to get examine the couple’s past.
“They’ll be looking hard at phones, they’ll be looking at social media, they’ll be looking at computers. They’ll be dissecting this person’s life and social network,” Swecker told the network.