US & Canada

San Bernardino attacks: Suspects had target practice, says FBI

The two attackers at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport on 27 July 2014 Image copyright ABC News
Image caption Farook and Malik were photographed arriving in Chicago from Saudi Arabia in 2014

The two people behind the San Bernardino attack that killed 14 people had target practice days before, the FBI has said.

Tashfeen Malik and husband Syed Farook visited ranges in the Los Angeles area, said David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office.

He said both were radicalised and had been "for some time".

The US is investigating last week's attack, which happened at a health care centre, as an act of terrorism.

But Mr Bowdich said there is no evidence yet that last week's tragedy, the most deadly terror attack in the US since 9/11, was plotted from overseas.

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The FBI did not have an investigation open on restaurant inspector Farook before he and his wife opened fire on his colleagues at a work event at the Inland Regional Center.

They were both killed hours later in a shoot-out with police.

Investigators said they found 19 pipes that could have been turned into bombs at the couple's apartment, rather than the 12 previously reported.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Colleagues of the dead returned to work on Monday

A photo obtained by ABC News shows the couple arriving at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from Saudi Arabia in July 2014.

US officials have said that Farook travelled to Saudi Arabia and returned about two weeks later with Malik, who was able to come to the country on a fiance visa.

Farook's father told Italian newspaper La Stampa his son sympathised with IS and was fixated with Israel.

The family's lawyer said he had recently told them co-workers had mocked his beard, and that the family knew he had two handguns and two rifles.

But they did not know about the arsenal of weapons the couple had amassed.

Malik reportedly praised the so-called Islamic State on Facebook on the day of the attacks.

The US Justice Department said on Monday it is monitoring any anti-Muslim sentiments or attacks that may emerge in the wake of the mass shooting.

US President Barack Obama made a rare Oval Office address in which he said the killings were "an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people".


San Bernardino shooting - in depth

Breaking down the figures - The shooting in numbers

A "precious" loss - A victim's sister expresses grief

Shock at the mosque - Attacker's colleagues in disbelief

'Star pupil' - where Tashfeen Malik went to school