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Mass Shooting Investigation. Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired December 7, 2015 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking live at an FBI press conference being held in San Bernardino, California, FBI Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich speaking.
Let's listen in.
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DAVID BOWDICH, FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: ... from the sheriff's department in San Bernardino, as well as Assistant Special Agent in Charge John D'Angelo from the ATF.
So, today, we're going to go through a number of things and we're going to answer some of your questions. We're going to open it up for a few questions.
But first off, I want to talk about the work that JTTF has been done, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and then our local, state and federal partners throughout the weekend.
This has not been a restful weekend for any of us, nor should it be. Our job is to continue the investigation at breakneck speed as long as we need to do that, and we will do exactly that.
I want to correct something, because it continues to come up. There was a search warrant that was executed at the Center Street address in Redlands last weekend, this past weekend.
In that search warrant, I want to make it clear, because we are actually getting a lot of calls about misbehavior. The reality is, when the FBI or any other law enforcement organization executes a search warrant, we obtain legal process that's signed by a federal or a state judge.
We then make entry into those premises, and we will take the items that can be seized under the scope of that warrant. That is exactly what was done that day. When we leave the residence, we will either hand the keys to the owners, we will hand -- or we will secure the residence if it was breached, as was exactly what the case in this incident.
We secured it with screws and wood and left the premises. Once the FBI and our local partners left those premises, anything that occurred as far as forced entry or if anyone was allowed into that residence has absolutely nothing to do with us, whether they were allowed in by the residents or by the landlord. I want to make that clear. That's an important thing for the public
to maintain confidence in your law enforcement professionals. Secondly, I want to clarify. We briefed you a couple days ago about the pipe bomb components that were taken and some of the pipes and some of the components of pipe bombs that were removed from the house on Center Street.
If you recall, we gave you a number of 12. I don't want to get too technical because I'm not an expert on bombs. However, we do have experts that did that search. They did some removal of all those devices from that house, and ultimately it appears there are 19 pipes in that house that we have removed.
Some were in a bag. We are not going to unpack them one by one. And they had to remove all of these components and devices and take them out to a range and then they began to safely extract them from the bag and safely pull them apart and count all the components, photograph all the components, and ultimately admit them into -- submit them into our evidence.
So the number's changed from 12 to 19. Now, that is not 19 pipe bombs. Let me be clear. That is 19 pipes that could be turned into pipe bombs if all the components are there and present for them to actually be construed that way.
Next, I want to talk about the radicalization issue. Many of you had concerns, or questions, rather, did the female radicalize the male in this case? The answer is we still do not know, but I will say this. As the investigation has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time.
Now, how did that happen? The question we're trying to get at is, how did that happen and by whom and where did that happen? And I will tell you right now we don't know those answers at this point.
Next thing I want to -- along those lines is foreign contacts. We are working with our foreign counterparts to determine as much as we can. It's like any other investigation, but this one is incredibly large. We are attempting to expand that investigation out and build it and build a picture of each person, the timeline and ultimately the crimes that they committed. That takes time.
We are in day five, and I want everyone to recognize that. But we're working with our foreign counterparts. We're also working with the FBI's legal attache offices, which are all over the world. And they are assisting in those efforts with our foreign counterparts.
The next thing I want to mention, it's come up already, yes, we do have evidence that both of these subjects did some target -- participated in target practice and -- some ranges within the metro area or within the Los Angeles area. That target practice in one occasion was done within days of this event.
The scope of this investigation, I want to discuss very quickly. This investigation is massive in scale. Everyone knows that. We have conducted between I would say well over 400 interviews by now of people around this city. And I know some of them called you and said they have been investigated -- or interviewed, rather. That's fine. We -- that's what we do and we will continue to do as many interviews as necessary for this.
Finally, there's been some questions about the total station, the recreation of the crime scene. What we are essentially doing is applying survey technology to the crime scene. And when I talk -- when I'm talking about the crime scene, I'm talking about the initial crime scene at the IRC where all of the victims were. I'm not talking about the officer-involved shooting.
Yes, we are still holding that location because we are continuing to be extremely methodical and we have actually brought in a reconstruction team to apply those tools, those survey tools to ultimately paint that picture of why -- of how everything transpired that day.
We have transported over -- we have collected over 320 pieces of in evidence this investigation so far, and we have transported a number of those pieces of evidence to Washington, D.C., primarily to our FBI laboratory, to our bomb lab back there, the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center.
The last thing I want to talk to you about very quickly before I open it up about questions -- and then I'm going to introduce some of my counterparts up here to address you as well.
We have found evidence of planning, participation, financing. What I will tell you this -- I'm sorry. We have found evidence of preplanning. Let me correct that.
What I want to say is, I want to make sure the public rest assures, again, we are an apolitical organization and we will get to the bottom of this and we want to find out everyone who has -- who participated in the preplanning, if there was anyone else. We don't know everything yet.
We want to find out everyone who profited from it, financed it. And I'm not saying there is anything like that, but we will leave no stone unturned, just like I said in the past. The last thing is we have to remember this is a human interest. This is a human tragedy. This is truly a tragedy, what occurred.
We have brought out Office of Victims Assistance personnel from Washington and this is what they do. They're very familiar with this. We're going to at some point, hopefully this week, meet with the family members of the victims, both the decedents' victims and the injured victims.
And that's a crucial part for us to allow them to ask questions and so that we can address them face to face and talk to them about our full commitment. If they don't want to meet with us, that's their choice and we understand. If they do want to meet, we're there for them. Very, very important. So, I'm going to take a few questions, not as many as I did the other
day, but I will take a few. Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: Do you have any sense at this point who was in control during the attack? Did Tashfeen Malik fire the first shot?
BOWDICH: We do not have any sense who was in control.
And I will tell you, I want to be crystal clear here. We do not see any evidence so far of an OCONUS plot, outside the continental U.S. plot. We may find it some day. We may not. We don't know. But, right now, we are looking at these two individuals and we're beginning to focus to build it out from there.
BOWDICH: I'm not sure if we're done questioning her yet.
QUESTION: There were early reports that Tashfeen Malik had ties to the Red Mosque. Has anything in your investigation uncovered evidence of that?
BOWDICH: I have heard those same reports. I'm aware of them and we are continuing to work, as I said earlier, with our overseas partners and our legal attach offices to determine that answer.
BOWDICH: There's a -- I'm not going to get into that at this point.
QUESTION: There were reports that Syed Farook was reported to the FBI several years ago by somebody who was suspicious about him, his behavior. Can you confirm anything about that?
BOWDICH: I'm unaware of this. What I can tell you is, we did not have an open investigation into Mr. Farook at the time of this incident.
QUESTION: Thank you.
Last night, President Barack Obama said that there was no evidence -- quote -- "that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home."
Given all the evidence that you're gathering and finding, is the president incorrect?
BOWDICH: No, I wouldn't say we're incorrect. We're still in the investigative phase. We're in day five, remember.
QUESTION: You mentioned that they had been radicalized for some time. Do you have any -- you mentioned that they have been radicalized for some time, both of them. Do you have any indication how -- we're talking years, months?
BOWDICH: No. We don't know that. We don't know that. We have some indications of timeline, but we don't have enough for me to speak on it at this point. We believe they both were. That's the question for us is how and by whom and where were they radicalized.
Maybe there's not a by whom. Remember, oftentimes, it's on the Internet. We just don't know. I don't want to speculate.
QUESTION: Do you know anything about the guns? There was a raid in Riverside this weekend. What can you tell us about the origin of the guns?
BOWDICH: I'm going to allow the -- ask the ATF to address that question. All things guns, hold your questions for an ATF agent in just a minute.
QUESTION: There have been reports that Farook may have had interaction or communication on social media with a man from Minneapolis who you all have been tracking now, now goes by Mohammed (OFF-MIKE). Can you confirm that?
BOWDICH: I have heard those reports. I'm not going to confirm that at this point. I'm not aware of the facts of that yet.
QUESTION: Dave, what is the status Enrique Marquez? What was his role and where is he right now? Has he been arrested? Has he charged?
BOWDICH: I'm not prepared to discuss Mr. Marquez at this point. I'm going to discuss him.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Do you know yet?
BOWDICH: I don't know the answer to that.
BOWDICH: We have not found any evidence of suicide vests yet.
QUESTION: With the preplanning, any idea how long, weeks, months, years,the preplanning was on this?
BOWDICH: We still don't know. We're still building it out. I'm going to take one more question.
BOWDICH: Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) video was there in the IRC? And does the video show any of these -- the two -- the shooters clearly identified?
BOWDICH: We are still going through what type of video is available.
Back to the data exploitation, you bring me to that. There's continued data exploitation that is going on as we speak. And that will continue for some time.
That is a painstaking process. That -- as I have said, in the past, we hope to get towards their intent with some of the data exploitation of the digital media.
From now -- at this point, at this point, I'm going to introduce ATF's assistant special agent in charge John D'Angelo.
JOHN D'ANGELO, ATF ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: I'm going to talk briefly about the guns.
It's been widely reported in the media that there were five guns involved in this investigation, recovered throughout this investigation. From what we have -- we have traced those guns and what the trace results reveal is that all these firearms were originally purchased from FFLs in California from a period -- a time period between 2007 and 2012.
FFL is a term we shorten -- abbreviation for federal firearms licensee, commonly, a retailer who sells firearms.
Farook himself purchased a Llama and Springfield Armory .9-millimeter pistols that were recovered at the scene, as the Savage .22-caliber rifle that was recovered during the search warrant.
We have both the federal documentation and the California documentation to establish that he actually purchased the firearm. His name and identifying information appears on all that paperwork.
Enrique Marquez purchased the two assault weapons that you have seen shown on the media, the DPMS and Smith & Wesson rifles .556 rifles. We have the paperwork documenting those purchase as well. Right now, our major concern, the FBI, ATF and the JTTF, is determine how those firearms, the rifles in particular, got from Marquez to Farook and Malik.
The firearms at present are at the FBI laboratory where they're -- where the FBI is performing forensic examination on them. After that forensic examination is done, we will do a complete and thorough determination, examination and determination of just exactly what these firearms are.
Right now, I'm going to turn it over to Chief Burguan, who will address some other issues pending the matter.
JARROD BURGUAN, SAN BERNARDINO POLICE CHIEF: Good afternoon, everybody.
I'm going to talk a little bit about local response and what's going on in the city of San Bernardino, as well as the region. Everybody saw what happened in the city of Riverside yesterday, what was believed to be an active shooter incident. It brought about a massive police response.
I think that is indicative of the fact that people are on edge and people are a little extra cautious, which is good. That's what we're asking people to do. The massive response really came as a result of local law enforcement, who has really stepped up their patrols and they have stepped up their presence in the region.
The city of San Bernardino, we have been on a 12 on, 12 off tactical alert status since the incident happened on Wednesday. We are getting to the point where we're going to start letting some of our guys have some days off and be home with their family.
But rest assured we will have increased staffing, a number of additional folks working overtime to provide safety and security to the region. And I think I speak for Sheriff McMahon as well when I say that we have really, truly stepped up our efforts. We will be there for people and at minimum you will see an increased police presence in our city and in the immediate region through the Christmas holiday season.
OK? Thank you very much. Future press conferences will be announced by the FBI. We will see you in a bit.
HARLOW: There you have it, a press conference from the FBI, local police and ATF there in San Bernardino, California.
A lot to go through. Many, many really major developments and headlines. I think the biggest headline that we have learned out of this is that according to the FBI, they say both of the shooters were radicalized and they were radicalized for some time. Whether that is months or years, we don't know, but both Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook both radicalized.
The question is where they were radicalized, by whom, or, as you heard the FBI assistant director there saying, potentially, it was radicalization through the Internet and not necessarily by a person.
I want to bring in our panel to go over all of this, Kyung Lah. She is at the news conference, CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez, Shawn Henry, former FBI assistant director, CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier.
Kyung, let's talk about what they found in the home. He has said they found 19 pipes that could have been made into pipe bombs and he said they are also working with their foreign contacts to build a picture and a timeline of these two.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, it very concerning because you had heard the police refer to before as -- the garage of this residence as being a bomb factory.
Nineteen -- moving it from 12 to now 19 pipes certainly suggests this was indeed a factory, that they had their eyes on trying to build as many of these as possible. For what purpose, the authorities at this point not sharing it with us. They may not know.
I think key here, Poppy, though, is the radicalization. That's really what authorities need to hone in on, because that really gives a clue into what lies ahead as far as the law enforcement for protecting the homeland in the future.
What we have heard here on the ground is that people who were in touch with him as recently just weeks, just weeks before all of this, they never saw any signs, that he never talked to anybody, that they didn't see anything political coming from him.
Their suspicion is that he must have been doing this online, that he was so private, that he was so private with his wife that they may have fed off one another. That's at least the suspicion of people who are closest to him here, Poppy.
HARLOW: Evan Perez, this is your area of expertise. When you hear one of the officials highest up in the FBI say it looks like they were both radicalized and not necessarily led by the female, as some were expecting in this, and also his point that there may not have been a person that radicalized them, this goes right to the heart of the current crisis in this battle against ISIS that is online radicalization.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. That is exactly what the FBI is up against, which is essentially DIY radicalization.
These are people who at home can take the direction of ISIS. They don't really need to be in touch with anyone. We don't know yet, and I think the FBI still wants to answer the question based on communications and any e-mail, they want to see whether or not these people were actually in contact with someone in Syria or in some other part of the world who was trying to give them some direction of what to do.
That has not been ruled out. But as far as we right know, this looks like the classic case of radicalization that the FBI has been so concerned about, Poppy.
What we're hearing from officials involved in this investigation is that they believe, as Mr. Bowdich said at this press conference, that certainly in the case of Mali, who is the woman, that she was already on her path. She was on the path to radicalization when she came to this country. That really raises some really important questions for the Homeland Security Department, or the State Department that gave her a screening before they gave her a K-1 visa, the fiancee visa.
This is when Farook went over there to Saudi Arabia to pick her up and bring her to the United States as his wife. That's the important question. The president says that there's going to be a review of that visa process, because it definitely appears to not have caught that a year -- just over a year after she comes into this country she is helping to carry out the deadliest terror attack, domestic terrorist attack in this country since 9/11.
One quick thing I want to make sure I mention, that in that press conference, I thought it was remarkable revelation also that the FBI assistant director there said that both these suspects, these people carried out some kind of dry run. Essentially, they went to firing ranges in the days leading up to this massacre.
So that again tells you a little bit about their preparation, what they were intending to do. This was not just something that was triggered on the day of this Christmas party. It looks like this was something that was definitely in the works.
HARLOW: And also goes to the question as to how no red flags were raised, how now no one around them spoke up and they were going to these firing ranges in the vicinity up to days before the attack last week.
Shawn, to you.
The fact that we heard the FBI assistant director that there was no open case and no open file, nothing on the male shooter ahead of this.
SHAWN HENRY, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Yes, Poppy, that goes to the point of self-radicalization and the concern that law enforcement, the Joint Terrorism Task Forces have with this phenomenon that people are in their living room, they're in their basement, they're online individually or in this case potentially as husband and wife.
They are not sharing, they are not out at a particular mosque, they are not out interfacing with other people. This is something that is very, very difficult to identify. What I will say is that when Dave Bowdich from the FBI said that they were radicalized, it sounded to me that was pretty emphatic and that they likely have found some information, evidence in the course of the search, whether it be through the computer analysis, the media analysis or some documentation that they found.
But he sounded pretty confident that he knew, which indicates to me that there's some evidence that they have uncovered, Poppy.
HARLOW: I want you all to stay with me. We're going to get to you, Kimberly Dozier, on the other side of the break. Much more from this candid and revealing press conference from the FBI next -- stay with me.
HARLOW: All right, much more now from that very candid, revealing FBI press conference that just wrapped up in San Bernardino, California.
With me now, CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank and also Shawn Henry is back with us, former executive assistant director of the FBI.
Kimberly, to you. We heard from the FBI. They said at this point there's no evidence of a sort of global interconnected plot tied to this. But they also said that they are speaking closely with all of their foreign contacts, that's the way he put it, to build a picture and a timeline of this couple.
Your intelligence sources telling you something critical this week about how ISIS is, according to them, not contained. And this it all fits in.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Absolutely.
The White House commissioned an intelligence report that concluded that ISIS is going to continue likely to grow for the next couple of years in scope and influence. It's in about a dozen countries now and their analysis was that unless its territory is reduced in Iraq and Syria, unless it's beaten back there, it will be continue to be so popular that it will draw more followers like the couple in California.
HARLOW: It's about physical containment in Syria and Iraq tied to inspiration abroad, even if that radicalization, Kimberly, is completely online like was alluded to potentially by the FBI assistant director just now?
DOZIER: Well, it's about denting ISIS' prestige by taking away its caliphate.
It claims to have this Islamic state inside Iraq and Syria. If it can be reduced in size to just Syria, say, then perhaps followers will see it as not so worthy of following instead of al Qaeda. But the timeline for beating them back is, in some cases, some people are saying it could take a couple years to get them out of Mosul and Ramadi inside Iraq.
This is going to be a tough fight.
Paul Cruickshank, to you. The FBI -- I want to pull up this photo and talk about it, because we now have this photo, our Pamela Brown getting if from her sources of this couple at Chicago O'Hare Airport as recently as July of this year. And the FBI saying that both, the big headline, both of them were radicalized and for "some time," whether that's months or years, but a lot of people had been talking about whether Tashfeen Malik came over and radicalized her husband.
Now it sounds like they were both radicalized. The question is where, by whom, was it on the Internet? Just speak to this and whether we know they were potentially radicalized at this point.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, we have known for some time obviously that they were radicalized, radicalized at a certain point.
She was deeply fundamentalistic, conservative in her approach to Islam for many years stretching all the way back to her time in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan and sort of was a follower of a sort of Wahhabi or Deobandi approach to Islam which can make you receptive to what ISIS is saying.
And we also know he was radicalized from his father because his father was saying he was a supporter of the caliphate project, deeply anti- Israeli. I think they probably radicalized each other to a certain degree.
The one thing that stood out in the reporting on her, and we don't have a very great idea of her yet, but the one thing that stood out is the fact she was very educated, very bright and for that reason perhaps she was the one who was wearing the trousers, so to speak, in the relationship.
We have seen that before in these sort of husband/wife dynamics. I interviewed a Belgian woman 10 years ago, Mali Galarud (ph), and I met her husband at the same time. And he really looked up to her because she had been in Afghanistan with bin Laden's wives before 9/11.
And he went all the way to Pakistan to join al Qaeda just to impress her, really. And so you have seen these sort of Lady Macbeth dynamics where they are sort of strengthening the backbone, so to speak, of their husbands.
HARLOW: Shawn, to you.
If indeed this was a case of online radicalization, talk to me about the difficulties presented by the fact that as Pamela Brown has reported their digital footprint was very concealed. They smashed hard drives, they threw them away, they smashed their phones.
So now where do the intelligence officials go to get what they need to determine the point of radicalization?
HENRY: Yes, Poppy, there are a number of points here.
First of all, I think those that have been radicalized, those that have been listening to ISIS and their propaganda, they are familiar with trying to keep their footprint small. They are familiar with law enforcement tactics and capabilities, and, quite frankly, what the Constitution allows and how they are protected.