WASHINGTON, Tashfeen Malik, who carried out the San Bernardino massacre along with her husband, reportedly passed three background checks although she openly talked of violent jihad on social media.
U.S. law enforcement officials discovered old, previously unreported posts on social media that partly uncover the radicalization of Malik and husband Syed Rizwan Farook, The New York Times reports. Immigration officials don’t usually review social media posts as part of background checks and most of the process is spent on vetting against marriage fraud.
Malik moved from Pakistan to the United States on a fiance visa. She was first vetted by the Department of Homeland Security, which checked her name against law enforcement and national security databases. The Department of State then reviewed her fingerprints against other databases and she was thoroughly reviewed once more after she applied for a green card.
Malik’s visa was approved although she discussed violent jihad and made sympathetic references to the Isis, including one in which she reportedly pledged allegiance to the militant Islamist group.
Federal investigators believe Farook and Malik were in the final stages of planning a bigger attack, possibly at a nearby school or college, to include more victims. Investigators said the Dec. 2 shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured at a county health department holiday party may have been a rehearsal for a bigger attack, explaining why the couple had thousands of rounds of ammunitions and bomb-making materials at their home.
Authorities also said Farook and Malik had been practicing their shooting skills at a local gun range for more than a year before the attack at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center. Officials said Farook and another man had planned an earlier attack but “got spooked” and backed out after unrelated terror arrests in the area.