California, US (BBN)-Lawyers representing the family of the two San Bernardino attackers have said relatives are “in complete shock” over the shooting.
They said the family had no idea Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were capable of such an attack, reports BBC.
The lawyers warned against jumping to conclusions after the FBI said earlier the attack was being investigated as an “act of terrorism”.
Wednesday’s mass shooting left 14 people dead and 21 injured.
Tashfeen Malik, 27, and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, died in a shootout with police after the killings in the southern Californian city, east of Los Angeles.
Lawyers David Chesley and Mohamed Abuershaid said there was no evidence that the couple had extremist views or were members of a militant group.
Syed Rizwan Farook’s sister, Saira Khan, told CBS News: “I can never imagine my brother or my sister-in-law doing something like this, especially because they were happily married, they had a beautiful six-month-old daughter,”
Farook is said to have been an isolated individual with few friends and Malik has been described by family as a “caring, soft-spoken” housewife.
Chesley said Malik was very conservative.
She did not drive or interact with male family members and wore a burka, he said.
The family was aware that Farook owned two handguns and said co-workers had recently made fun of his beard, the attorneys said.
Front-page editorial
In response to the shooting, the New York Times (NYT) ran an editorial on the gun debate on the front page of Saturday’s print paper.
It is the first time since 1920 that the paper has run an editorial on page one.
“It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the opinion piece said.
“America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing…” it added.
NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr said the aim was “to deliver a strong and visible statement of frustration and anguish about our country’s inability to come to terms with the scourge of guns.”
Links under investigation
FBI Director James Comey said earlier on Friday the investigation into the shooting was in its early stages and that there was still “a lot of evidence that doesn’t make sense”.
He said that there were indications that the couple had been radicalised and that they were “potentially inspired” by foreign terror groups.
However, he said there was no evidence they were part of a network.
Earlier, an FBI spokesman said they were also investigating reports that Malik had pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS).
She is reported to have posted a message on Facebook in support of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi under a different name. The post has since been removed.
After Wednesday’s attack at the Inland Regional Center social services agency, bomb equipment, weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found in the couple’s home.
FBI spokesman David Bowdich told a news conference that authorities were trying to recover data from two mobile phones found crushed in a waste bin near the shooting scene.
San Bernardino shooting – in depth
Who carried out shootings? – The couple police say were responsible
What makes this shooting different? – More than one shooter, a woman involved, a well-planned attack, explosives and a fleeing attempt
‘It’s crazy they lived next door’ – Neighbours tell the BBC of their shock that the attackers lived nearby
Politicians ‘shamed’ for offering prayers – Does prayer do anything in the wake of a shooting?
Who were the victims? – Diverse backgrounds of the 14 people killed
Police said between 75 and 80 people were attending a party at the centre when the shooting began.
The identities of the victims have since been released by San Bernardino’s coroner.
The youngest was 26 and the oldest was 60.
Who are the victims?
San Bernardino is the deadliest mass shooting in the US since 26 people were killed at a school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Friday showed that 51 per cent of Americans view Muslims living in the United States the same as any other community, while only 14.6 per cent were generally fearful of them.