WEB DESK: Tashfeen Malik, one of the two accused shooters in the massacre in San Bernardino, California, moved from her native Pakistan to Saudi Arabia with her family 25 years ago before landing in the United States last year with a new American husband.
Malik, 27, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, the US-born son of Pakistani immigrants, were killed in a shootout with police on Wednesday, hours after the mass shooting in San Bernardino in which 14 people died. US government sources said Malik apparently had pledged allegiance to a leader of Islamic State.
The investigation into the California carnage has spread to Pakistan, where intelligence officials questioned members of Malik’s family, including her uncle, Javed Rabbani, the brother of her father, Gulzar. Rabbani said his brother Gulzar changed after moving to Saudi Arabia.
“When relatives visited him, they would come back and tell us how conservative and hard-line he had become,” Rabbani said in an interview with Reuters. The father had built a house in Multan, where he stays when he visits Pakistan, according to another uncle, Malik Anwaar. Christian Nwadike, who worked with Farook in California for five years, told CBS News that his co-worker had been different since he returned from Saudi Arabia with Malik.
“I think he married a terrorist,” Nwadike said. Two Pakistani officials said Malik was from the Layyah district in southern Punjab province, but moved to Saudi Arabia with her father 25 years ago. She returned home five or six years ago to study to become a pharmacist at Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan, they said. Rabbani said he had been contacted by Pakistani intelligence as part of the investigation into the San Bernardino shooting. The Pakistani officials said Malik had two brothers and two sisters and was related to Ahmed Ali Aulak, a former provincial minister.
US authorities said Malik and Farook had two assault-style rifles, two semi-automatic handguns, 6,100 rounds of ammunition and 12 pipe bombs in their home or with them when they were killed. A US government source said such a cache of weapons indicated they might have intended to carry out a more elaborate attack