SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Isis State radio said Saturday the shooters who killed 14 at a holiday party were “martyrs” and “supporters” of the militant group.
Al-Bayan Radio, in an online broadcast, said alleged shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik carried out the attack in support of the Islamic State militant group, also referred to as Daesh and by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL. The couple died in a shootout with police after the Wednesday attack that also left 21 injured. The al-Bayan broadcaster did not say the couple were members of the militant group.
“We pray to God to accept them as martyrs,” al-Bayan Radio reported.
The FBI said the shooting on Wednesday is being investigated as terrorism, despite objections from Farook’s family, who said the declaration is “premature” and “irresponsible.” Investigators said the mass shooting was inspired by IS, but not directed or ordered by the group. The militant group has put out a worldwide call to launch attacks in its name.
Investigators said Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook during the shootout at a holiday party of the San Bernardino environmental health department, where Farook was a health inspector.
Farook, 28, a United States citizen of Pakistan origin, and Malik, 27, who was from Pakistan but whose family had moved to Saudi Arabia, carried out the attack at the Inland Regional Center.
The Farook family attorney said the notion the attack was inspired by the militant group was “ridiculous” and said none of the extended family knew about any link to terrorism. Attorney David Chesley said the couple had a “traditional” Muslim household and said Malik was a “typical housewife” who took care of their 6-month-old daughter.