According to the Department of Justice, Syed Farook was influenced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (Inspire) magazine and the teachings of Anwar al Awlaki. Shortly after the San Bernardino shooting, an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was posted on a Facebook page associated with Farook’s wife, Tafsheen Malik.
The Islamic State’s Al Bayan “news” bulletin describes the San Bernardino terrorists as “soldiers” of the “caliphate” in English, but as “supporters” in Arabic. The group has not claimed that the shooters received any operational direction or assistance. Federal authorities are still investigating that possibility.
The ‘Amaq News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic State, issued a statement saying the San Bernardino shootings were the work of the jihadist group’s “supporters.” However, the message is not an official claim of responsibility and didn’t include any details that were not already available in the Western press.
Tashfeen Malik, one of the two San Bernardino shooters, reportedly swore allegiance to the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as the attack got underway. This is consistent with what the Islamic State tells its followers to do and other terrorists have done the same in the past.