Syed Farook and his childhood friend who supplied him with the guns used in last week’s shooting in San Bernardino had abandoned an earlier plan for an attack in 2012, according to Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho).
There was a slew of developments on Thursday in the investigation into the lives of Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, the couple who killed 14 people at an office party for Farook’s coworkers in the county health department on Dec. 2. Police killed them in a shootout later that day.
Reuters reported that overseas Islamic groups ignored Malik’s attempts to establish contact in the months before she and her husband carried out the worst shooting since the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in 2012. Authorities have said the married couple were self-radicalized and that Malik posted a message on social media around the time of the attack in which she pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.
FBI agents, meanwhile, dove into a San Bernardino lake as they continued their search for evidence. David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told reporters that divers took the plunge because Malik and Farook had allegedly been seen at the lake on the day of the shooting. The Wall Street Journal reported divers were scouring the body of water for the suspects’ missing computer hard drive.
“I can confirm we are searching for any evidence that has to do with this crime,” Bowdich said at a press conference on Thursday. “We have indications through leads that at some point they came to this park. There is no belief that there is anything dangerous at this place as a result of this incident.”
The FBI reported that another person has sought medical treatment from the office party shooting, raising the number of wounded to 22.
The information about the aborted plot allegedly came from Enrique Marquez, Farook's friend and relative by marriage. Marquez, 24, has reportedly admitted providing Farook with the two assault rifles used in the shooting.
He grew up next door to Farook and his family. His wife is Mariya Chernykh, and her sister is married to Farook's older brother.
Risch told CNN on Wednesday that the pair got cold feet about the earlier plot after the FBI arrested four people in Riverside, California, for trying to reach Afghanistan to train with terrorists. Risch is a member of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence.
The FBI raided Marquez's home last week. At some point after the shooting, he sought treatment at a mental health facility, according to The New York Times.
Marquez, a convert to Islam, legally bought the guns in 2011 or 2012. He has not been charged with a crime, but could face charges if it turns out he did not properly transfer the guns to Farook.
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