LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The United States has no indication that a couple who killed 14 people in California were part of a wider cell which planned more attacks, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday.
Lynch, speaking to reporters in London, said the radicalisation of the couple seemed to have been going on for some time. She said she had no information that another attack was planned by the couple.
Tashfeen Malik, 29, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, stormed a gathering of his work colleagues in San Bernardino, California, last Wednesday, opening fire with assault-style rifles.
They were killed a few hours later in a shootout with police.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a Thursday news conference that the search of a townhouse leased by the shooting suspects in the nearby community of Redlands turned up flash drives, computers and cellphones.
Officials in Washington familiar with the investigation said so far there was no hard evidence of a direct connection between the couple and any militant group abroad, but the electronics would be checked to see if the suspects had been browsing on jihadist websites or social media.
One U.S. government source told Reuters the FBI was examining information indicating that Farook was in contact with individuals who had themselves been under FBI investigation, some from cases already closed. The source also said it was possible that one or more of the Farook contacts under scrutiny were located overseas.
Farook, a U.S. citizen, was born in Illinois, the son of Pakistani immigrants, according to Hussam Ayloush, who heads the Los Angeles area chapter of the Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Malik was born in Pakistan and lived in Saudi Arabia until they married, Ayloush said.
David Bowdich, FBI assistant director in Los Angeles, said Malik was admitted to the United States on a K-1 “fiancee visa” and was traveling on a Pakistani passport.
The couple entered the United States in July 2014 after a trip that included Pakistan, Bowdich said. Farook also visited Saudi Arabia for nine days in the summer of 2014, the kingdom’s embassy in Washington said.