Investigators announced on Friday that the woman who allegedly helped carry out a deadly shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, pledged her allegiance to ISIS in posts on Facebook. Tashfeen Malik, the 27-year-old wife and alleged accomplice of Syed Farook, was killed in a gun battle with San Bernardino police on Wednesday. Hours earlier, police say, she and her husband burst into a holiday party being held at the Inland Regional Center and, dressed in military style tactical gear and using high-powered rifles, opened fire on Farook’s co-workers. The attack left 14 dead and 21 injured, the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since the massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut nearly three years ago.
One of the officials said that the post had been deleted, but investigators were able to recover it. “At this point we believe they were more self-radicalized and inspired by the group than actually told to do the shooting,” one unnamed source told The New York Times. Investigators say Malik and Farook went to considerable efforts to cover their digital tracks, which has led them to believe the attack was premeditated. Inside the couple’s home, authorities discovered many other clues that signaled premeditation, including an arsenal of bullets and at least 12 pipe bombs. Another official told The Associated Press that the pledge was made under an alias and that Malik had expressed “admiration” for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. No official motive has been named and local officials stressed that a number of factors, including a workplace dispute, could have fueled the attack.
Malik was a Pakistani national who came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia on a so-called “fiancee visa.” In order to obtain a conditional green card, which she received in July of this year, Malik had to pass background checks that determine whether or not an individual may pose a potential threat. Malik and Farook had a 6-month-old daughter together, whom they left with Farook’s mother shortly before launching the deadly attack.