Federal authorities say they have discovered connections between a friend of the San Bernardino attacker charged with conspiring to carry out other attacks with him and a group of men arrested years earlier in California as part of a different plot.
This comes after the FBI had said in the weeks after the Dec. 2 rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., that they found no evidence of any ties between husband-and-wife attackers and a group of men arrested in 2012 and charged with plotting to travel to Afghanistan to kill American soldiers.
Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire inside a company holiday party in December, killing 14 people before dying hours later in a shootout with police. Authorities later said Malik pledged allegiance to the head of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in a posting on Facebook after the attack.
Investigators have since sought to determine whether the couple had any other accomplices or connections to other groups, an issue that FBI Director James Comey highlighted in arguing for why the bureau needed to access Farook’s locked iPhone. Law enforcement officials have said the iPhone, which was eventually unlocked, has not revealed any connectionsto foreign terrorists. Comey has also said authorities believe the attackers were inspired by foreign terrorist groups.
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Courtroom illustration by Mona Edwards