Islamic State said on Saturday that a married couple who killed 14 people in California in an attack the FBI is investigating as an “act of terrorism” were followers of the militant group based in Syria and Iraq.
The group’s declaration, in an online radio broadcast, came three days after U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, a native of Pakistan, carried out the attack on a holiday party for civil servants in San Bernardino, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles.
The two died hours later in a shootout with police.
U.S. government sources have said Malik and her husband may have been inspired by Islamic State, but there was no evidence the attack was directed by the militant group or that the organization even knew who they were. The party the couple attacked was for workers in the same local government agency that employed Farook.
If Wednesday’s mass shooting proves to have been the work of people inspired by Islamist militants, as investigators now suspect, it would mark the deadliest such attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.
Two ethnic Chechen brothers inspired by al Qaeda killed three people and injured 264 in a bombing attack on the Boston Marathon in April 2013.
“Two followers of Islamic State attacked several days ago a center in San Bernadino in California,” the group’s daily online radio broadcast al-Bayan said on Saturday.
An English-language version of the broadcast was later released calling the attackers “soldiers” of Islamic State, rather…