FBI: “This was an Act of Terrorism”

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Dec 4, 2015 (SAN BERNARDINO) Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Office David Bowditch said that the data now leads them to call this “an act of terrorism.” There was extensive planning, the use of explosives and high power weapons. He also said that they attempted to destroy their Digital trail, with the destruction of digital media. The FBI is exploiting that data and looking for both telephone and other media links inside the United States. They are also working with foreign partners, but he did not say that this was either Islamic State inspired or coordinated. The reason, they still have no data on this aspect of the investigation.

He also made a reference to the Facebook post where Tashfeeq Malik pledged allegiance to the ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Barghadi. This post was removed soon after, and it was posted on a private setting, reportedly on a dummy account. He said he was aware of the posting but was not willing to call this either a direct or indirect link to ISIS. He also said at one point that the FBI is not a political organization and he repeated that this was a marathon, not a sprint, and called for patience. They will go where the evidence takes them.

They do have some telephonic data that they are exploring and following. This means that there will be other subjects of their investigation. He did say that while at this time there are no other arrests, that might come in the future. They also hope that the digital media will reveal the motive.

Bowditch also said that it is still early in the investigation and they do not know if there were other targets, or this was it. Nor where contacts are. He stated that the person who bought one of the rifles for them was interviewed by the ATF but is not under arrest.

He also asked the public that if they have any piece of knowledge to add to the investigation to call 1-800-CALL FBI, or 1-800-225-5324 and use option 4 on the call tree.

Update with statement from James Comey, Director of the FBI

The Director reaffirmed that they have made this a terror investigation due to information they have developed. They do not have evidence to an extensive plot or for that matter a cell. They are also chasing leads around the world.

There was no reason for the suspects to be under suspicion by the FBI or other law enforcement authorities.

He also said that a lot still does not make sense, but this is only a 48 hour old investigation, and the electronic trove that they are developing is important.

Comey also asked people to once again, if you see something, say something. He also thanked not just law enforcement, but EMTs and other first responders in the medical community, such as doctors and nurses.

 

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