Islamic State said on Saturday that the married couple who killed 14 people in a mass shooting in California which U.S. authorities are investigating as an act of terrorism were followers of the militant group.
The claim was made in an online audio broadcast three days after U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, from Pakistan, opened fire with assault rifles on a holiday party for civil servants in San Bernardino, 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles.
The pair, who had left their six-month-old baby daughter with relatives, were killed two hours later in a shootout with police SWAT team members.
FBI officials leading the investigation say the couple appeared to have been inspired by foreign militant groups, but that there was no sign they had worked with any of them or that Islamic State even knew who they were.
Estranged relatives of Malik say she and her father seemed to have abandoned the family’s moderate Islam and became more radicalized during time they spent in Saudi Arabia.
If the Dec. 2 mass shooting proves to have been the work of people inspired by Islamist militants, it would mark the deadliest such attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.
While U.S. President Barack Obama’s team said it has not yet found evidence that the couple was part of an organized group or broader terrorist cell, “several pieces” of information “point to the perpetrators being radicalized to violence.”
If that turned out to be the case, Obama said…