FBI: California killers radicalised before dating

2015-12-09 22:37
FBI Director James Comey is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP)

FBI Director James Comey is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP)

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Washington - The husband-and-wife killers who carried out last week's shooting attack in San Bernardino, California were radicalised before they started dating, FBI Director James Comey told Congress on Wednesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's terror probe has determined that US-born Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a Pakistani national, were inspired by foreign terror groups and discussed "jihad and martyrdom" as early as 2013, Comey said.

The investigation "indicates that they were actually radicalised before they started courting or dating each other online", Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing.

"And online, as early as the end of 2013, they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and then married and lived together in the United States.

"We also believe they were inspired by foreign terror organisations," Comey said.

The FBI, he added, was "working very hard to understand whether there was anybody else involved with assisting them, with supporting them, with equipping them. And we're working very very hard to understand, did they have other plans."

The assailants are accused of killing 14 people and wounding another 21 at a holiday party at a non-profit social services centre in San Bernardino.

Malik is believed to have pledged allegiance to the ISIS group in a Facebook post made under another name, around the time of the attack, according to media reports.

Read more on:    fbi  |  us

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