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The mosque where shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook was said to have attended. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

Terror mystery

FBI director says San Bernardino shooters didn’t make public social media posts about jihad

By WITW Staff on December 16, 2015

FBI director James Comey said Wednesday that, contrary to news reports this week, San Bernardino shooting suspects Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik did not make posts about supporting jihad on social media. Instead, Comey said, that the two had been talking about violent jihad for years, “showing signs in that communication of their joint commitment to jihad and to martyrdom.” But, he added, “Those communications are private direct messages.” Reports over the weekend suggested that the posts had been made on social media and that a secret policy in place prevents Department of Homeland Security agents from scrutinizing social media accounts of visa applicants from abroad. Later reports that emerged suggested the posts were made under a pseudonym and was protected by strict privacy settings. “These were private postings,” Comey, who was addressing reporters alongside NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton, reiterated, adding that the messages would not have been detectable by law enforcement authorities. “We don’t intercept the communications of Americans,” without a court order he said. Comey was asked whether Farook’s relatives are still under investigation, but the FBI director replied that he was not ready to talk about the shooter’s family members yet. He said he was concerned that somebody saw something and didn’t say something, but wasn’t yet ready to comment about what the federal probe may or may not have turned up.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.