FBI probes mystery of San Bernardino shooters’ whereabouts for 18 minutes … – Los Angeles Times
The federal investigation into the San Bernardino massacre is now focused on what the shooters were doing for a critical 18-minute period soon after last month’s attack that killed 14 people.
David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI‘s L.A. office, said Tuesday that agents want to know whether Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, might have stopped at businesses, dropped anything off or made contact with anyone from 12:59 to 1:17 p.m. on Dec. 2.
Authorities have pieced together the couple’s movements for most of the day using footage from traffic and surveillance cameras as well as witness accounts, Bowdich said.
After the shooting, Farook and Malik drove back and forth within a large L-shape area that included portions of San Bernardino and Redlands. They stopped at a parking lot near the Inland Regional Center, where the shooting occurred, and at nearby Lake Seccombe, Bowdich said.
Filling in the 18-minute gap could help investigators determine what the couple were trying to do as they drove around in the hours after the attack, he said at a news conference.
“A lot of zig-zagging around, going back and forth on the highway,” he said of Farook and Malik. “There is no rhyme or reason to it that we can find yet.”
The couple carried out what authorities call the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Hours later, they were killed in a shootout with police.
The FBI has said the couple was radicalized “for quite some time” and appeared to have leanings toward radical Islam.
Bowdich said the investigation had turned up no evidence that the attack was orchestrated from overseas.
“This seems to be an inspired terrorist act,” he told reporters.
Officials have said the couple appear to have planned the attack for at least a few months, amassing weapons, ammunition and explosives.
Authorities allege that four years before the San Bernardino massacre, Farook and his friend Enrique Marquez Jr. hatched another terror plot.
The duo allegedly plotted to detonate pipe bombs in the cafeteria of Riverside City College, shooting people as they fled, and to open fire on drivers on the 91 Freeway during rush hour.
Those alleged plots were never carried out.
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