Sunday 23 October 2016

California shootings couple 'went to target practice days before massacre'

Published 07/12/2015 | 20:01

Tashfeen Malik studied at the Al-Huda International Seminary in Pakistan
Tashfeen Malik studied at the Al-Huda International Seminary in Pakistan

A couple who carried out a shooting massacre in California had taken part in target practice just days before the attack in which 14 people were killed.

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David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, told a news conference that Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, went to shooting ranges in the Los Angeles area.

He said the bureau believes both were radicalised and had been "for some time", though he says the bureau doesn't know when or how that happened.

The FBI has said it is investigating the shooting at a holiday gathering of Farook's co-workers as an act of terrorism.

Mr Bowdich said investigators found 19 pipes in the couple's home in Redlands, California, that could be turned into bombs with all the right components.

Earlier the founder of an Islamic religious school organisation in Pakistan where Malik studied insisted the group is non-political and has no links to extremists.

Farhat Hashmi said Malik attended Al-Huda International Seminary's branch in the Pakistani city of Multan briefly between 2013 and 2014.

The school is for women-only with locations across Pakistan and in the US and Canada. Ms Hashmi saids Malik left without completing a diploma.

She said the Al-Huda International Welfare Foundation denounces extremism, violence and acts of terrorism and cannot be held responsible "for personal acts of any of our students".

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