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Can you connect the dots of the San Bernardino shootings?

Blassy Boben | Updated on: 7 December 2015, 16:39 IST
  • California was shaken after 14 people were killed at a shooting in San Bernardino on 2 December.
  • The accused, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, allegedly carried out the attack. They were later shot dead by the police.
  • The motive of the attack is still unclear and the two seem to have no links to known terror groups. A SWAT drill was also underway near the attack site on the day. Security agencies are trying to fit the pieces together. See if you can too.

In what is being termed by US media as the worst terrorist attack on American soil after 9/11, 14 people were killed and 21 injured on 2 December in a shootout at San Bernardino, California.

According to the US security agencies, a couple from Pakistan, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28 and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, carried out the attack.

Here's a timeline of the events and details that have surfaced so far, as reported by various news sources:

6 December

Pakistani security forces allegedly threatened journalists attempting to dig out information about Tashfeen Malik, the Washington Post reported on 6 December.

5 December

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed that the couple were their followers. However, authorities have been unable to establish the couple's connection with the terror group, save for a purported Facebook linked to Malik where she allegedly pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told news agency Reuters that the nation would co-operate with all aspects of the investigation.

"Such acts of terrorism, which take place across the world, bring a bad name to Islam... You cannot blame the religion and the nation due to the personal actions of one person."

US authorities warned that an "imminent security threat" existed at the American consulate in Istanbul, the Telegraph reported.

4 December

US federal authorities said the attack was being looked at from the lens of a terror plot.

Also Read: FBI investigates San Bernardino shooting as act of terrorism

In Redlands, media personnel broke into the house of the couple, and went through their belongings, took photographs, broadcast live, and inevitably, tampered with evidence.

3 December

The federal agencies announced having completed investigating the couple's home. The Telegraph quoted security agencies as saying that 4,500 rounds of ammunition and 12 pipe-bombs were recovered from the couple's home. About 2,000 rounds were also found in the black SUV.

CNN reported that the composition of the explosives found in the couple's home did not confirm with instructions issued by any existing terror group.

David S Chelsey, who represents Farook's family told CNN that the reports did not add up. "Where the couple was found, from what I understand, is that they were handcuffed, lying face-down in this truck, shot up," he said.

2 December

Farook, a health inspector for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, was present at the event at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino - which was attended by over 70 people. The New York Times reported that Farook left the event early

A few hours later, shooters dressed in black opened fire on the center and escaped in a black SUV.

Around four hours after the incident, it was reported that the SUV had been found.

Farooq and Malik were gunned down about 3.5 miles away from the attack.

The missing pieces

Conflicting details have emerged about the incident. According to initial reports, several witnesses were quoted saying that "three white men in ski masks and military gear" carried out the attack.

While all focus is now on the couple, the alleged third shooter seems to be left out of media narratives. The police has said that there were only two shooters.

The BBC reported that a third suspect was detained after he attempted to run away from the scene. However it is unclear if the person is connected to the incident.

Active shooting drills are carried out every month in San Bernardino, including one on 30 November. There are also reports that the SWAT team was training near the center at the time of the attacks.

First published: 7 December 2015, 16:39 IST