Source: Extremist Groups Rebuffed Calif. Shooters

Farook, Malik discussed jihad online before meeting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2015 4:53 AM CST
Source: Extremist Groups Rebuffed Calif. Shooters
Members of the FBI Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team and bomb specialists work in Seccombe Lake on Thursday in San Bernardino, Calif.   (Micah Escamilla/The Sun via AP)

San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik tried to join Islamic extremist groups in the months before the massacre only to get the cold shoulder, according to law enforcement sources. Those sources tell Reuters that the groups appear to have ignored Malik because she was completely unknown to them and they feared her approaches were part of a sting operation. The Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front was probably among the groups she tried to contact, though investigators have yet to find a strong link to ISIS, the sources say. Investigators searched a lake in San Bernardino Thursday for electronic evidence, including a missing hard drive, according to the Los Angeles Times' sources.

Investigators have already found evidence that the couple may have been planning a large-scale second attack, possibly on a school, sources tell the Times, though images of schools found on Farook's phone may be connected to his work as a health inspector. Lawmakers briefed in closed-door sessions on Capitol Hill yesterday tell the AP that they asked officials, including FBI Director James Comey, whether any intelligence that could have predicted the rampage was missed. Reuters reports that Comey told lawmakers that Farook and Malik discussed extremism online as far back as 2013, a year before they met in person and she came to the US, but the conversations were apparently not intercepted. (Authorities say the neighbor who bought the guns used in the massacre plotted an attack with Farook in 2012.)

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