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FBI: California Couple Didn't Post About Jihad Publicly

'That's a garble'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2015 2:02 PM CST

(Newser) – During the GOP debate Tuesday in Las Vegas, Ted Cruz criticized the government for not noticing public social media posts from the San Bernardino shooters showing their commitment to jihad, the Washington Post reports. "[Tashfeen Malik] made a public call to jihad, and they didn’t target it," Cruz claimed. But that's not exactly true. "That's a garble," FBI director James Comey says. According to the AP, while Malik and her husband Syed Farook communicated about jihad and martyrdom online before ever meeting in person, it was always in the form of private messages, not publicly visible posts. “I’m talking about the kinds of messages that billions, trillions are sent every day,” Fox News quotes Comey. “We don’t intercept the communications of Americans without predication.”

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The Post reports Malik made a public post supporting ISIS on behalf of her and her husband immediately following the attack on an office party in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead. But Comey says there's no indication the couple made any sort of public show of support for jihad that "should have put them on our screen," according to Fox. The Post reports Comey didn't specify which social media platform the couple used, but law enforcement officials have said in the past it was Facebook. The direct messages about jihad and martyrdom were sent between the two in late 2013, before the formation of ISIS. (Read more San Bernardino shooting stories.)

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