Feds Say San Bernardino Shooters Did Not Belong to a Terrorist Cell

By Sameer Rao Dec 17, 2015

*Update, December 17, 2015, at 3:31 p.m. EST:

Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News that they plan to bring criminal charges against Enrique Martinez, a former neighbor of Syed Rizwan Farook, for the purchase of two assault rifles used in the San Bernardino massacre. 


Two weeks after a married Muslim couple killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, federal investigators say they have not uncovered any evidence that they belonged to an active terrorist cell.

FBI head James Comey announced the news during a counterterrorism conference in New York yesterday (December 16). He said that while Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the perpetrators of the December 2 massacre, spoke about "jihad and martyrdom" in private communications, they did not do so on social media—a major recruiting tool for groups like ISIS. Comey also said that Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, who killed four U.S. Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee in July, "was inspired and motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda."

The FBI head further confirmed that the bureau is pursuing "hundreds" of investigations across 50 states that involve potential ISIS-inspired plots. 

Despite calling for tech companies to not create tools or services that allow for encrypted communication—something that Comey says ISIS and similar groups use—the FBI head asserted that he believes tech and law enforcement can collaborate without infringing on personal privacy. "We are not going to break the Internet," he said.

(H/t Reuters