The FBI officially confirmed Friday the San Bernardino, California, shootings were being investigated as an act of terrorism. During a press conference aired nationally David Bowdich, the assistant director in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, asked that anyone with information related to the shootings call the agency. He said there were still questions to be answered by the investigation, and repeatedly responded to reporters’ questions by saying, “We don’t know yet.”
The Wednesday attacks killed 14 people in a social services center where an office Christmas party was being held for the county health department. One of the suspected attackers, Syed Farook, was employed as a restaurant inspector for the department. Farook, Bowdich said Friday, was not under active surveillance by the FBI.
— FOX 13 NOW (@fox13now) December 4, 2015
The shootings left a wake of confusion as authorities scrambled to understand what motivated Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, to put on tactical gear and open fire on coworkers and acquaintances celebrating the holiday season. Original reports indicated that he had had a dispute with one of the party-goers before he left and took up arms.
Details have since emerged that indicate that Malik may have been a radicalizing force in the relationship. Farook was born and raised in the United States and Malik was a Pakistani national who had spent time living in Saudi Arabia. Before the shooting, Malik pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State group on Facebook, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Coworkers described Farook as a quiet and normal guy who didn’t stand out in any way in particular to colleagues, who had recently thrown a baby shower for the couple. They recently had a child. Before the shooting, the couple reportedly left their newborn baby with the grandmother and said that they needed to go to the doctor.