A portrait has started emerging gradually about the San Bernardino attackers that killed 14 innocent people and injured 21 others on Wednesday, December 2. However, the investigating officers admit more work is to be done before answers could be wrapped up to some of the key questions about the couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
FBI noted the two were radicalized Muslims and ahead of committing an act of terror the 28-year-old Farook took a loan of $28,500 from Prosper, a San Francisco-based online lender.
The deposit was made to the bank account of Farook, a US-born son of Pakistani immigrants. Malik, 29, was born in Pakistan and spent life in Saudi Arabia. The two met online and married in the US. Both died in a shootout with police on the chase after attacking Inland Regional Center social services agency in San Bernardino, 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
FBI is treating the assault as an act of terrorism and Malik is believed to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (also known as Isis or ISIL) and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on social platform Facebook just ahead of the mass shooting.
Isis later, in an Arabic-language online radio broadcast, referred the two were their supporters. The group however didn’t claim them to be their members. This indicates a less direct connection to the group.
Farook’s annual earning was $53,000 for his work as an environmental health inspector. It is being explored the loan could have been to reimburse Enrique Marquez, the man who supplied two AR-15 semiautomatic rifles to the couple that was used in the San Bernardino, California, attacks.
Marquez is currently answering the questions of investigators. He could be charged if found to have illegally modified the weapons.
Assistant special agent in charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, John D’Angelo, said the main concern for them now is to determine how the firearms got from Marquez to Farook.
As of now authorities revealed Marquez had given semiautomatic Smith & Wesson M&P15 and .223-caliber DPMS A-15 rifles to the couple.
It is also said the couple lived next door to Marquez in Riverside until a few months ago.
Marquez earlier was an employee at a Wal-Mart store and prior to it he worked at the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The FBI searched Marquez house on Sunday and seized several items after spending several hours.
A neighbor who witnessed the search said Farook and Marquez had been close friends since childhood, but lately their relationship had grown more distant and more conservative too.
Earlier, searching the home of the couple, FBI found 2,000 9-mm handgun rounds, 2,500 .223-caliber rounds, and some tools as well to make improvised explosive devices.
The townhouse of Farook’s brother and father too was searched in Corona but no arrests have been made as the family was found to be cooperating with the investigation.
At the time of their death, the couple had a six-month-old daughter.