The 27-year-old woman suspected of carrying out a massacre in San Bernardino, California, with her husband Wednesday posted a statement of support for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook around the time of the attack, law enforcement sources told NBC News on Friday.
One official familiar with the issue said Tashfeen Malik, 27, posted the statement "just before the attack." Law enforcement authorities said during a news conference Friday the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism. Authorities are working to determine whether Malik was a radicalizing influence on her husband.
A Facebook official told CNBC the social media site flagged and removed Malik's profile after the mass shooting for violating community standards, as Facebook does not allow users to praise terror acts or promote terrorism. Facebook said the social media network is cooperating with law enforcement.
Investigators are looking into whether Malik, a Pakistani who spent most of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, was a radicalizing influence on her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook, a 28-year-old restaurant health inspector for the county, was born in Chicago to Pakistani parents and raised in Southern California.
Authorities said the couple, who had a 6-month-old daughter, sprayed as many as 76 rounds into the room before fleeing. They died four hours later and 2 miles away during a furious gunbattle with police. Police said the pair was found with more than 1,600 bullets when they were killed and had 12 pipe bombs in their Redlands home, along with 4,500 rounds of ammunition and tools to make more explosives.
Documents obtained by NBC News Thursday reveal the garage at the suspects' residence in Redlands, California, "was set up as a bomb-making facility."
According to Reuters, Pakistani intelligence has contacted Malik's relatives about the mass killing. Malik, who is from the Layyah district in the Punjab province, returned to her homeland five or six years ago to study pharmacy at the Bahauddin Zakariya University in the city of Multan, Reuters reported.
Malik and Farook met on a dating website in 2013 and married in 2014, attorneys for Farook's family said during a news conference Friday.
Two brothers who knew Farook from a mosque in San Bernardino said they remember when Farook announced plans to marry Malik, saying he had met his future wife online and that she was from Pakistan. Farook told the brothers he had traveled to Mecca in Saudi Arabia last summer.
The brothers said he was gone about a month before returning to the U.S. with his wife. Malik arrived with a Pakistani passport on a K-1 visa for fiancees in July 2014, authorities said.
Malik and Farook were married Aug. 16, 2014 in Riverside County, California, according to their marriage license, although authorities previously said the couple had been married for two years. Both listed their religion as Islam. The couple had a 6-month-old daughter, whom they left with relatives Wednesday morning before the shooting. Farook's brother-in-law said he has taken steps to legally adopt the baby girl.
SYED RIZWAN FAROOK
NBC News reported Thursday that Farook appeared to have been radicalized and had been in touch with people in the Los Angeles area who expressed support for jihad. Intelligence sources said he may have communicated with people overseas who are of interest to U.S. authorities.
Farook had no criminal record. Neither he nor Malik were under scrutiny by law enforcement before the attack, authorities said.
Farook's brother-in-law, Farhan Khan, said he had no idea what triggered the rampage.
"It's his stupid action, nothing to do with religion at all," Khan told NBC's Lester Holt Thursday. It's always going to be a question...you know, why he did something like that. A normal person living with my family. Why would he do something like that?”
A profile on a matchmaking website for South Asians that matched Farook's name, California hometown, county health job and Muslim faith said his interests included target shooting in his backyard. Though the date of the posting was not clear, it listed his age as 22.
Patrick Baccari, who sat at the same table as Farook at the holiday party where Farook and Malik allegedly opened fire, said his colleague was a man of few words and inclined to talk about cars, not religion.
Jennifer Thalasinos, whose husband of 14 years was killed in Wednesday's massacre, told NBC Los Angeles that Farook got along with everybody, but she believes he was radicalized during a recent trip overseas.
"I think this was happening behind the scenes, he wasn't showing this part of himself at work because I know if he would've been, my husband would've had something to say," Thalasinos said. "My husband was very outspoken about Islamic terrorism."
Farook was known to pray every day at San Bernardino's Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah mosque — until about three weeks ago, when he abruptly stopped going, according to Rahemaan Ali, who knew Farook through the mosque. Ali said Farook seemed happy and his usual self. He and his brother, Nizaam Ali, said they never saw anything to make them think Farook was violent.
Details about Farook's upbringing are sparse.
He grew up in a turbulent home but later graduated from California State University, San Bernardino, with a degree in environmental health sciences in 2010.
Divorce records depicted a home divided by abuse. Farook's mother alleged in 2006 that her husband, also named Syed, attacked her while her children were present, dropped a TV on her and pushed her toward a car, according to records.
Rafia Sultana Farook filed a petition for a domestic violence order of protection on July 3, 2006, against her husband. She said she was forced to move out with three of her children because her husband continually harassed her "verbally and physically," according to the divorce records.
The Associated Press could not immediately reach the father for comment and was unable to corroborate the allegations in the records. No one answered the door at a home in Corona where a neighbor said the father lived.