Pakistani in California shooting became radicalized in Saudi Arabia, relatives say

By REUTERS
December 6, 2015 02:32
1 minute read.

 
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The estranged relatives of Tashfeen Malik, a Pakistani woman accused of shooting dead 14 people in California, say she and her father seem to have abandoned the family's moderate Islam and became more radicalized during years they spent in Saudi Arabia.

Malik, with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, is accused of storming a gathering in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday and opening fire in America's worst mass shooting in three years.

Investigators are treating Wednesday's attack as an "act of terrorism." On Saturday, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed the couple as their followers. There is no evidence yet that IS directed the attack or even knew the attackers.

Malik's killing spree has horrified her Pakistani relatives. Her father cut off contact with his family after a feud over inheritance, they told Reuters, and moved to Saudi Arabia when his daughter was a toddler. There, it seems, he turned to a stricter form of Islam.

"From what we heard, they lived differently, their mindset is different. We are from a land of Sufi saints ... this is very shocking for us," said school teacher Hifza Bibi, the step-sister of Malik's father, who lives in Karor Lal Esan town in central Punjab province.

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