The Islamic State group on Saturday said that a married couple who murdered 14 people in California in an attack the FBI is investigating as an “act of terrorism” were followers of the terrorist organization.
The extremist group made its claim in an online radio broadcast, Reuters reported. The declaration comes three days after Syed Farook, 28, and his wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, carried out a mass shooting on a holiday party for civil servants in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14.
The two died later in a shootout with police. They were both Muslim.
U.S. authorities have said that the couple may have been radicalized and their attack may have been inspired by the terrorists, but said there was no evidence the attack was directed by the Islamic State or that the militants even knew who they were.
If the shooting is confirmed to have been the work of people linked to the Islamic extremists, it would mark the deadliest such attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
“Two followers of Islamic State attacked several days ago a center in San Bernadino in California,” the group’s daily online radio broadcast al-Bayan said on Saturday, Reuters reported.
An English-language version of the Islamic State’s broadcast called the attackers “soldiers” for the group, rather than “followers” as in the original Arabic version.
The claim came a day after Facebook confirmed that Malik made comments on the social media website supporting the terror group around the time of the attack.
The comments were posted by an account operated by Malik, using a different name, but it was uncertain whether Malik herself made the post or if the comments were written by someone else with access to the account.