A Facebook official says Tashfeen Malik praised the leader of the Islamic State group in a post at 11 a.m. Wednesday, when the couple were believed to have stormed a San Bernardino social service center and opened fire.
The Facebook official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed under corporate policy to be quoted by name, said the company discovered the account Thursday. It removed the profile from public view and reported its contents to law enforcement.
The Islamic State-affiliated news agency Aamaq said Friday the two shooters were "supporters" of the group, but it stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack.
Bowdich said he was not aware of the report but wasn't surprised IS would attempt to link itself to the attack. He said investigators are looking carefully to determine if there is an IS connection.
Farook and Malik rented a townhome where investigators said they found an arsenal of ammunition and homemade bombs. On Friday morning, the property's owner allowed reporters inside. Bowdich said the FBI was done with the scene.
Malik, 27, was a Pakistani who grew up in Saudi Arabia and came to the U.S. in 2014 on a fiancee visa. Farook, a 28-year-old restaurant health inspector for the county, was born in Chicago to Pakistani parents and raised in Southern California.
Another U.S. official said Malik expressed "admiration" for the extremist group's leader on Facebook under the alias account. But the official said there was no evidence that anyone affiliated with the Islamic State communicated back, and there was no evidence of any operational instructions being conveyed to her.
The two U.S. officials were not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Until Friday, federal and local law enforcement officials said terrorism was a possibility — but the violence could have stemmed from a workplace grudge or a combination of motives.
Law enforcement officials have long warned that Americans acting in sympathy with Islamic extremists — though not on direct orders — could launch an attack inside the U.S. Using slick propaganda, the Islamic State in particular has urged sympathizers worldwide to commit violence in their countries.
Others have done so. In May, just before he attacked a gathering in Texas of people drawing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, a Phoenix man tweeted his hope that Allah would view him as a holy warrior.
Two weeks ago, with Americans on edge over the Islamic State attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead, FBI Director James Comey said that U.S. authorities had no specific or credible intelligence pointing to an attack on American soil.
Seventy-one people have been charged in the U.S. since March 2014 in connection with supporting ISIS, including 56 this year, according to a recent report from the George Washington University Program on Extremism. Though most are men, "women are taking an increasingly prominent role in the jihadist world," the report said.
It was not immediately clear whether Malik exhibited any support for radical Islamists before she arrived in the U.S. — or, like scores of others arrested by the FBI, became radicalized through online or in-person associations after arriving.