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  1. ITV Report

California killers discussed martyrdom online a year before they met and married

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in an attack on an office Christmas party. Credit: FBI

A couple who killed 14 people in San Bernadino, California had been discussing martyrdom online a yearbefore they met in person and married, the FBI has revealed.

Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, who married each other in 2014 had both been in interested in Islamist-inspired violence before they got to know one another.

A US government source said that Farook may have been plotting an attack as early as 2011.

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook s they passed through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago in 2014. Credit: US Customs and Border Protection

FBI Director James Comey has said that the pair had been inspired by foreign terrorist organisations and were homegrown violent extremists".

They were actually radicalised before they started...dating each other online, and as early as the end of 2013 they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged.

– FBI Director James Comey
Police and Sheriff's Office Crime Scene investigators examine evidence at the scene of the investigation Credit: Reuters

The father of Tashfeen Malik has spoken out condemning his daughter's actions over the killings.

Speaking to the Associated Press from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by telephone Gulzar Ahmad Malik spoke of his sadness.

I am in such pain that I cannot even describe it.

– Father of Tashfeen Malik

Comey emphasised how critical it was to know if the marriage between Farook and Malik had been arranged by a militant group as a way of carrying out attacks in the US.

However he indicated that there was no evidence yet to suggest that.

21 people were also injured in the attack on an office Christmas party in San Bernadino.