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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 4, 2015 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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a pro isil news agency says the california shooting rampage was carried out by two of its operatives. ♪ hello, you are watching al jazeera live from london, always coming up. germany votes to send military support for the fight against isil in syria. this as government air strikes kill dozens of civilians in towns east of damascus. [ gunfire ] violence across the west bank. four palestinians are shot dead after allegedly attacking
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israeli solders. and killed by the cold. people and animals in crimea struggle after almost two weeks without power. ♪ we begin with breaking news on this week's shooting in california which left at least 14 people dead. the news agency which supports the so-called islamic state of iraq and the levant said that two of its operatives carried out wednesday's attack. the suspect and his wife were shot dead on wednesday after attacking a christmas gathering in san bernardino east of los angeles. explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been found at their home. let's go live now to gabriel elizondo who is in san bernardino for more on this story. gabriel, isil says it was behind the shooting in san bernardino.
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what are you hearing where you are? >> reporter: well, events moving very fast here as you can imagine. aside from this new information that you just reported about this news agency that supports isil, apparently claiming that isil is claiming responsibility. aside from that, here u.s. news agencies have been reporting also that one of the suspects, the 27 year old wife, posted to facebook, apparently her allegiance to isil as well. in that is what u.s. media here has been reporting. however it's important to caution that we're expecting the fbi to hold a press conference here within a matter of minutes where we hope they will confirm or deny that information. there's obviously a lot of speculation that has been circulating, and it is growing more intense over the past hour or so.
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both of these suspects, both of whom died in a gun battle with police on wednesday afternoon, one was from the united states, he apparently met his wife online. she is a pakistani citizen. they met -- they then went to saudi arabia together and traveled back to the united states. none of this in and of itself suggests any wrongdoing per se, but fbi officials have been looking at all of this, trying to connect the dots to see if there is any sort of connection to terrorism. up until now they had been basing their investigation on one of two lines of thinking. one this could have been an office dispute, office violence, or links to terrorism. those were the two lines of thinking up until now. over the past eight to ten hours or so, the line about potential terrorism has been gaining more traction. in that is because not only as
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we heard from the fbi yesterday that they found pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition inside a home linked to the two suspects but beyond that, now hearing potentially, again, not yet confirmed officially from the fbi, but potentially, that she, one of the suspected posted this to facebook and also this that we are reporting about this isil-affiliated media outlet reporting that isil is taking responsibility, clearly is going to be a lot of the discussion at this press conference of the fbi that we hope to hear from them in the next few minutes. >> it's important to emphasize we haven't heard anything official from the fbi, any official fig -- figures over there about this, but a number of news agencies posting aleeance to isil by one of the
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suspects, and it has been very difficult to establish the precise motive. what prompted these two suspects to do this. >> it is. and that's why this has certainly been a difficult investigation. because as we have been reporting, this is a very complex case, because both of the two suspects, neither of them had any criminal records. they both had a young child together. we spoke to the brother-in-law of one of the suspects, he said there is absolutely no sign of any sort of violence or anything like that. they both had jobs, so in that way they don't fit what would be a profile of anyone wanting to do wrongdoing, but, again, as we heard lots of ammunition in their home, having these guns -- by the way the guns were purchased legally, has certainly lead to rampant speculation on what the actual motives are.
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but it's important to point out, the fbi simply officially has said as of now they don't know the motives yet, and that's why it's important that they come out and address some of this, which we hope they do in the next few minutes. >> intelligence agencies in many countries very much on alert for behavior that might seem suspicious, and one of the striking characteristics of what we see here, is this couple don't appear to have been on anyone's radar, and friends, relatives, colleagues have expressed their surprise that they would have been involved in something like this. >> yeah, there is a lot of speculation going on, but again, going back to the facts like you mentioned, it is apparently a fact that neither of them were on any sort of fbi watch list, so you would think that indicates that had no history or linkings at least that the fbi
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knew about that would put them on such a watch list. again, this goes to a complex set of circumstances here that this is not simply a case that can be tried in the media, or tried via speculation, it needs to come out in facts, and that's why a lot of people here in san bernardino and around the country have been a little bit frustrated, because it is not a clear-cut case at least not that the fbi has released in information so far. >> thanks so much. gabriel elizondo live for us in san bernardino where we are watching for the fbi. they are going to be giving a press conference to shed a little bit more light on the latest information that has been emerging about what might have motivated the attack in this town east of los angeles. of course there has been a great deal of speculation saying that there was a post made on social media by one of the suspects,
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essentially pledging their allegiance to isil. of course we know that police and security forces have been working very hard to try to establish some sort of motive. speaking to friends, family, colleagues, and of course, combing through the home of this couple, their papers, a laptop, computers, anything that essentially sheds a bit more light on what motivated -- what was the catalyst for this devastating attack in san bernardino, california. we can now speak to max abrams, a security analyst in boston. we have this claim from isil that it was behind the shooting in san bernardino. you can see why they would want to pub size something like this. but would this be a credible, feasible claim in your view? >> so this story is moving very quickly. the reports that i have seen are
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that the female shooter, it has been discovered that she posted on facebook at the time of the shooting her allegiance to the islamic state leader baghdaddy. are you saying that the group itself has now claimed credit for this attack? >> the information we're getting at this point is that a news agency which supports isil, the so-called islamic state of iraq and the levant has said on its website on friday that followers of the group carried out wednesday's attack on the agency in california. so essentially they are saying that their operatives were behind this. >> right. i mean that's really not surprising. i do a lot of work on credit claims when do militant groups, terrorist groups claim credit for attacks. so basically, the nature of credit claiming has changed over the years.
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terrorist groups historically have been more disciplined. the leadership has had more control over the rank and file. when a group claimed credit was released very deliberately by the leadership, but you could imagine in today's day and age with twitter, you know, there's more agency afforded to lower-level operatives. even people who are not directly part of the group, sometimes called isis sympathizers or fan boys, and they post credit claims often on twitter so that the nature of the credit claiming -- the credibility has gone down. if this is from an official news source out of islamic state though, that has a higher level of credibility. but more generally this is totally consistent with islamic state's strategy.
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the group is cognizant that there is a lot of counter terrorism going on these days. that it can be dangerous in many cases impossible for jihadists to go train, and then return with weapons. so these groups a are -- especially the islamic state but also al-qaeda. they are calling on people all over the world to basically act on their own to choose targets that they wish, to choose methods that they wish, possibly follow instructions in some of these propaganda outlets like inspire magazine, but basically to inflict farm any way that you can. so then islamic state is -- is generally very quick to claim credit for these kinds of attacks as well, even though
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essentially just the leader has given the green light for anybody to commitment violence in the group's name. >> exactly. so these claims have to be treated with a great deal of caution, particularly when you think about the decentralized nature of an organization like this, the fact that you have -- you know, sympathizers, perhaps in many different places, to isil, but, you know, that is very different from the group actually being involved in the detailed plan orchestration of an attack like this. max we're -- >> i do think that there was an islamic state element here, because, you know, the -- the actual suspect posted her allegiance to islamic state. sometimes islamic state the group claims credit for attacks and we're really not sure whether they were involved, like that was the case when the egyptian affiliate first took out that russian airline over
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the sinai, but in this case it does seem like there was some sort of an isis link, though it is probably just inspirational. i do not believe that the islamic state in any way directed this attack, or provided the material capabilities to the perpetrators. i think they were amassed locally. >> right. we'll get back to you later on, but thanks very much for giving us your initial thoughts. we're awaiting a press conference in san bernardino, california from the fbi. as max was saying there have been a number of claims which we are treating with caution. isles saying its operatives were behind the attack in san bernardino. the fbi has been investigating this as a potential act of terrorism, but crucial to mention they have not drawn any firm conclusions at this point.
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and this violence could have been related to the workplace, it might be been idealogical, but we don't know with any firm certainty. meanwhile germany is the latest nation to take on a role against the battle againsts aisle in syria. politicians voted to send a maximum of 1200 soldiers in a support role. and they will deploy reconnaissance jets and a frigate. >> the vote was overwhelming. a margin of 445 in favor, to 146 against. and it reflects a wider mood
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broadly supportive of military action. but nonetheless german lawmakers faced immotive questions and vehement debate. >> translator: those countries leading the war really want to get into a competition with isil. >> translator: it is time to act above all for the victims we want to protect. >> reporter: an opinion poll found 58% of germans in favor of action. even though the same poll believed that 53% believe a risk on german soil be increase as a result. they stopped short of authorizing german air strikes inside syria. instead berlin is sending
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support sources, including six of these jets. there will also be german refuelling aircraft and naval figget and up to 12,000 personnel. >> translator: we are make a contribute, because with our tornados we can make highly detailed images of large areas in a sport period of time. that is an ability which does not yet exist in the region. >> reporter: the french president made a surprise visit by helicopter to the aircraft carrier, the charles de gaulle on friday to feet the pilots and support troops. but doubt lingers. the latest to question the effectiveness of air strikes is a french journalist who spent 10 months in isil activity. >> these strikes have considerable counter effects, and if you listen even at the
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syrian human rights activists they are saying we do not need more bombs, we need protection. we need less violence and not more nations bombing us. >> reporter: yet the bombing tins. the syrian observatory for human rights says heavy government bombardment on friday killed at least 26 civilians, nearly a third of them children. the coalition against isil is growing but so are the casualties. paul brennan, al jazeera. britain's prime minister says air strikes against isil targets in syria will take time and require persistence. he was speaking for the first time since british mp's gave the -- >> you are watching al jazeera america. the san bernardino police department is about to give an update. let's have a listen. >> i understand there are some
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things that went out on social media, kind of bringing some -- some concern to the area. people talking about -- online about cells and law enforcement not sharing information, and a potential threat at a movie theater or something of that nature. i saw at least one of the tweets, and i want to address that right now. on monday night, tuesday morning before the incident, right around midnight, 1:00 in the morning. there was an incident at the regal cinema. a gentlemen that was described to be thought to be middle eastern spoke to the security guard around the time of closing. the security guard thought it was odd. that person ultimately left in a silver volvo four-door week,
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2012, 2013. we do not have a plate. the security guard thought it was weird. shortly thereafter the security guard noticed a red late '90s dodge durango driving around the area with another person that was possibly middle eastern in appearance that appeared to be taking photographs. the security guard notified the police department. we took a report and put that out in a bolo to every law enforce agency in the county as just simply some suspicious circumstances that were noted. so that is all we have on that. and then it went into the regular investigative channels and protocols where the locals were notified and they were looking at video, that sort of stuff to try to determine if there was a real threat. at this point, we have zero connection that -- or zero
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evidence or information that connects that event with what happened here at the -- at the inland regional center on wednesday morning. so i want to make that clear, but as a result of what happened on wednesday, the san bernardino police department has been in a tactical alert situation, meaning we have every officer in the department working, we are on 12-hour shifts. we'll maintain that until we think it's appropriate to standown. we have no credible information to believe there is a threat to this area now. we are not hiding information from anybody. okay? and then lastly, what i want to do right now is -- this is going to be an official transfer of this investigation in terms of information and how information is going to flow on this, to the fbi. we have certainly talked a lot about what that partnership is. i want to make it clear our
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agency, the sheriff's department, the fbi and other federal agencies involved in this investigation continue to walk shoulder-to-shoulder in this investigation to make sure we are doing the best job we can. but in terms of information regarding the investigation on this incident, at the inland regional center, the home in redland, this is an fbi investigation. they will be the lead. myself and her -- the sheriff will still be in contact. now i want to turn it over. >> good morning, everyone. first off i want to stress again to the families of the victims and the friends of the victims, let's remember they are first in this scenario. we had victims -- one gentlemen lost six children, one gentlemen lost a baby, and he was taking
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his first trip to disneyland this week. every one of those lives counted, and we want to offer our sincere prayers to those families. secondly, i want to stress the partnership. you have seen this united front, which is incredibly important for an investigation of this complexity. this is a very complex investigation. it is a very long-term investigation. my partners here from the san bernardino sheriff's department, county sheriff's department, the san bernardino police department, and the atf have been incredibly important in this investigation, and we are lock step in how we are handling this matter. i do want to go forward today and tell you that as of today, based on the information and the facts as we know them, we are now investigating these horrific acts as an act of terrorism. we have uncovered evidence that
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has lead us to learn of extensive planning -- obviously, we have uncovered evidence of explosive, multiple armaments. you know that. you know the ammunition that was out there, the high-powered weapons, the explosive devices. we are continuing to go down the path to ensure that we find all of the evidence that pertains to this matter. we have also uncovered evidence that these subjects have -- they attempted to destroy their digital fingerprints. for example, we found two cell phones in a nearby trash can. those cell phones were -- were actually crushed. we have retained those cell phones and we do continue to exploit the data from those cell phones. we do hope that the digital fingerprints that were left by these two individuals will take us towards their motivation. that evidence is incredibly
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important. i want to ensure that everyone understands that just because the fbi has now taken the leadership based on the trajectory of this case, we are not just taking this on our own, we are going to continue down the same path we have been, which is lock step operation with these partners. that is important. they are the protectors of this community. we are working hand in hand with our other federal, local, and state partners, we are also working hand in hand with our foreign counterparts to ensure that we find any connections that pertain to this matter. next, i would like to introduce to you, that we have established a national task force line -- i'm sorry, a national hot line that i would like to invite the public to call if they have any information that pertains to this. i would ask the public to please be judicious and make sure that even though -- if it's small, send it to us.
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please do not send us things that are obviously not pertinent to this matter. but if you think what you have to offer pertains to this matter, please call us, and give us that information. it's important. in that number is 1-800-call-a fbi. or 1-800-225-5324. once you reach that number, you can choose option 4, and that will take you to where you need to be in that call tree. i want to assure the public that your local, state, and federal officials will continue to uncover every stone to ensure that we find all of the facts that pertain to these two individuals. i don't have all of the answers now. i am going to take questions. >> reporter: how are these two individuals linked to terrorists? >> we don't know all of those answer yet. >> reporter: it has widely been reported some of the links of
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terrorism -- i'm from cbs news, we confirmed it with our own communication, communication with people here in the u.s., communication with people overseas. >> reporter: there are some telephonic connections between these two individuals -- at least one of these individuals and other subjects of our investigation. >> reporter: was anything said inside the room during the shooting that lead you to believe [ inaudible ]? >> we still don't have the answer to that. but so far the answer is no. >> reporter: is there evidence they were being directed by isil or al-qaeda or something like that, or were they inspired by them? >> i'm not aware of any direction. i'm aware of the post on facebook. we're looking into it. but we don't know all of the answers yet. >> reporter: can you confirm the post? >> reporter: [ inaudible ]
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potentially? you said something -- >> yeah, i'm not going to confirm that at this point. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] that now move [ inaudible ] act of terrorism? >> there is a number of pieces of evidence that has essentially pushed this off the cliff to say we are now investigating this as an act of terrorism. i'm not going to get bo -- into that today. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]? >> there are no other suspects at this point. >> reporter: the computers at the home, can you talk about that. were they damaged? and also potentially for any investigator, how important is potentially information you can find on a hard drive, on a cell phone? >> yes, some of the digital media was damaged as i discussed before, and yes, that is -- we are -- as i said from day one,
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we are continuing to go down the path of what was the motivation for this attack. and are there others, are they based in the u.s., outside of the u.s. us, we don't have the answers. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]? >> because last night -- we executed a search warrant on that apartment, and last night we turned that back over to the residents. once the residents are back in it, we no longer control it. we leave -- any time we execute a lawful search warren, we have to leave for the residents a list that lists all of the items seized during that search warrant. >> reporter: all of the ammunition that they had on them, do you believe they were planning a second attack somewhere? >> i don't want to speculate. it is certainly a possibility that we are looking from. >> reporter: were they acting
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identifily just with the idea that they were working for isis. >> we do not know that, but we are looking carefully into that. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]? >> do i believe travel was part of this? we don't know. he traveled overseas in 2013. >> reporter: [ inaudible ]? >> remember, folks we're in day 3. so we'll get there. we're not there yet. remember all of these resources you see back there. that's why we are utilizing all of those. from digital media which should lead us hopefully to motivation, to connections via phone, emails, anything like that, to human intelligence that may give us some -- that's where we're going, but that takes time. that's not a three-day process. yes, ma'am? >> reporter: where were the cell
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phones that they tried to destroy? >> i was told they were in a nearby trash can that was found by our investigators. >> reporter: do you believe that they have [ inaudible ] have you moved forward on a [ inaudible ]? >> we don't know. and that's what we hope to build is -- is a -- a working working theory and then ultimately some sort of a design of what we believe they were going to do, but again, day 3, we just don't know. >> reporter: december 7th -- >> pardon me? >> reporter: [ inaudible ]? >> we don't know yet. it's certainly a possibility. but we do not know yet. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] indication that they were [ inaudible ]? >> we have -- we are still exploiting the data. i have not seen it yet. we're still exploiting that, and that will take time, but i truly believe that is going to be the