California Shooter 'Planned Attack in 2012'

Workers died in room where they trained for active-shooter scenario
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2015 2:51 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2015 6:41 AM CST
California Shooter 'Planned Attack in 2012'
Yellow tape is strung Tuesday around the Inland Regional Center, the site of last week's shooting rampage that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook may have been planning mass murder even before he married accomplice Tashfeen Malik, according to sources close to the investigation. Officials tell CNN that Farook plotted to carry out an attack with somebody else in California in 2012, though it's not clear how far the preparations went. The plan was called off after a round of terror-related arrests in the area "spooked" Farook and his accomplice, one source says. Law enforcement officials tell NBC News that Farook and Malik appeared to have planned the San Bernardino attack for at least a year, training at local gun ranges and making financial arrangements for their 6-month-old daughter and Farook's mother.

The FBI is still investigating a loan of $28,500 deposited into Farook's account two weeks before the attack, a loan that an investigator tells NBC "would be consistent with them making preparations for Grandma and the kid." In other developments:

  • The Los Angeles Times reports that former Minneapolis resident Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, an alleged ISIS recruiter who targeted Westerners on social media, has surrendered to authorities in Somalia. Investigators suspect he may have influenced Farook.
  • The San Bernardino Department of Public Health, which employed Farook and most of the 14 people killed in the attack, trained employees last year for an active-shooter drill in the same room at the Inland Regional Center that Farook and Malik attacked, the AP reports. "Everyone was trying to be quiet and not draw attention to themselves as they were trained to do, to try to find as much protection as you can," an assistant director of the department says. "Unfortunately, the room just didn't provide a whole lot of protection."
  • Law enforcement sources tell the Times that a device Farook and Malik left behind at the scene of the attack may have been designed to kill first responders. The sources say the crude device, which included three pipe bombs, was disabled by water from the building's sprinkler system.
  • See a photo of the holiday party taken just before the shooting here.
(More Syed Rizwan Farook stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.