FBI believes San Bernardino shooter had ties to jihadist recruiter

The San Bernardino mass shooting caught authorities by surprise. Neither of the two shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were on law enforcement’s radar.

One week later, the investigation has turned up that while the possibility remains that the couple were self-radicalized, their terror plot did not happen in a vacuum.

These are the latest and most significant investigative leads so far:

Thursday

Farook in same ‘social circle’ as convicted terrorist

The FBI believes Farook had ties to a group of jihadists in California who were arrested in 2012 for attempted to travel to Afghanistan to join al Qaeda.

Specifically, investigators are taking a new look at one of the four men who was arrested in the 2012 case, Sohiel Kabir. Kabir, who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison, was the recruiter who helped radicalize others.

The 2012 probe happened in Riverside, California, not far from San Bernardino. Farook was in the social circle of Kabir, officials told CNN.

The FBI initially investigated five men as part of the Riverside group. The fifth wasn’t arrested and hasn’t been identified. But Farook was not among those investigated at the time, the officials said.

Lake search

Divers from the FBI searched a small lake in a park a few miles from the Inland Regional Center, where 14 people were killed last week. A law enforcement official told CNN the search is connected to the shootings.

One of the items the two divers likely are looking for is a missing hard drive from the couple’s computer.

Wednesday

Friend says Farook considered terror plot in 2012

Enrique Marquez is a former neighbor and friend of Farook. He has emerged as a person of interest in the San Bernardino case because he is the one who purchased weapons used in last week’s attack. Furthermore, Marquez told investigators that he and Farook conceived a terror plot in 2012, but abandoned their plans after the FBI arrested an unrelated group in Riverside that had been planning to join al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Marquez checked himself in to a mental health facility after the San Bernardino attack.

He is cooperating with the FBI, but investigators are still trying to corroborate the information he has provided, including details of the alleged 2012 plot.

Marquez claims he knew nothing about the San Bernardino shootings. He has not been charged with a crime.

Friend’s marriage under scrutiny

Now that Farook’s friend and former neighbor Enrique Marquez has the attention of investigators, his own relationships are being scrutinized.

Federal authorities are “examining the circumstances of the marriage” between Marquez and a woman of Russian descent, according to a source familiar with the matter. Investigators are looking into whether this was a sham marriage for immigration purposes.

The woman came to the U.S. from Russia on a J-1 visa in 2009, according to another law enforcement official. That official says the woman did not appear for an interview earlier this week for her permanent resident application.

FBI recovers some electronic communication from killers

Farook and Malik tried to destroy their electronic tracks, but the FBI has been able to recover some of those communications, two law enforcement officials told CNN.

FBI Director James Comey told a Senate hearing Wednesday the agency has found online discussions about jihad between Farook and Malik from late 2013, before they began dating. Investigators have found data on a tablet computer and other cell phones at the couple’s home, he said.

The FBI is still trying to recover information from two smashed cell phones found in a garbage can near the home. They also have not found the hard drive from a computer at the home; investigators believe the hard drive was removed as a way to cover up the crime.

Farook and Malik became radicalized years ago

The online communications recovered so far indicate that the two killers had become radicalized long before carrying out last week’s attack.

Comey elaborated a bit on the conversations between Farook and Malik, where they talked to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they were married and before Malik immigrated to the United States.

Asked if Malik was radicalized before she entered the United States, Comey replied: “So far, it looks like she was….she was before she connected with the other killer.”

Tuesday

Authorities reveal Marquez bought the weapons

The two AR-15s used in the San Bernardino attack were purchased by Enrique Marquez for Farook back in 2011 and 2012, two law enforcement officials said. Marquez acknowledged that he bought the weapons and soon after gave them to Farook, though he never reported the ownership transfer. Such transactions could be a violation of California law, the officials said.

Farook borrowed $28,500 via online lender Prosper last month

Farook took out a loan for $28,500 in November, multiple law enforcement officials told CNN. Investigators have accounted for all the money and do not believe any of the money was provided to the killers by any outside entity backing the plot, according to one of the sources.

Because of that, the officials said the loan, from the online lender Prosper, is not considered of significant investigative value at this stage.

About half was given to Farook’s mother in the last couple of weeks, one official said and some was spent on household items.

It is believed the couple had bought the arsenal they used before the loan was taken out.

A spokesperson for Prosper would not confirm the existence of the loan, but provided CNN the following statement: “Prosper is prohibited by law from disclosing any non-public, personally identifiable information regarding any loan originated through our platform. All loans originated through the Prosper platform are subject to all identity verification and screening procedures required by law, including US anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws. As part of our standard procedures, we also confirm that all loan funds are disbursed into a verified US bank account in the borrower’s name. Like all Americans, Prosper is shocked and saddened by recent events in San Bernardino.”

Man believed to be Farook at gun range days before attack

A man believed to be Farook visited the Magnum Shooting Range in Riverside, California, alone on the Sunday and Monday prior to the attacks in San Bernardino according to a source familiar with the matter.

He practiced shooting an AR-15. The source says sign-in logs at the range were paired with surveillance video that have been turned over to the FBI. The FBI was at the range Monday night asking questions and showing pictures of another male (not Farook) asking if that man had ever been to the range.

Last week

Facebook comment provides possible ISIS link

As the San Bernardino attack was happening, investigators believe Malik posted on Facebook pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, three U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Malik posted the comment, but it was made on an account with a different name, one U.S. official said. The officials did not explain how they knew Malik made the post.

“There was a post that went up around 11aPT on the account Wednesday that violated the company’s community standards (those standards prohibit people using Facebook to promote terrorism or celebrate/glorify violence),” A Facebook official told CNN. “It was taken down Thursday. He said he couldn’t go into details about the nature of the post other than it violated standards (pointed to their standards prohibiting terrorism). The official said Facebook is cooperating with law enforcement.”

Farook and Malik travel history

Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2013 for the Hajj for a couple of weeks, two government officials said.

One of the officials explained that this is a common occurrence and the trip would not have raised any red flags as many Americans travel to Saudi Arabia during that time.

The feds believe Farook met Malik during that trip. Malik eventually came to the United States on a fiancée visa, the official said. She then obtained a green card.

This story was compiled from reporting across CNN’s networks.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The world's longest racetrack could be coming to Pahrump
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump might be the first racetrack in the world longer than 16 miles long once the expansion is complete. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Search for missing 3-year-old boy at Sunset Park
Las Vegas police and Red Rock Search and Rescue team search for a missing child at Sunset Park in southeast Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept.2, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks at Las Vegas tech conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan after advocating for girls' education, spoke at VMworld 2018 at Mandalay Bay. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father recalls the night his 14-year-old son died jumping into moving traffic
From the Clark County Detention Center, Ezequiel Anorve Serrano talks about the night his 14-year-old son, Silas Anorve, died jumping into moving traffic on U.S. 95. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Palace Station unveils new sports book
Palace Station talks about the new sports book Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
One of world's longest racetracks planned in Pahrump by 2020
The racetrack will be 16 miles long by the year 2020 according to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club owner John Morris. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like