A $28,500 deposit was made to the bank account of Syed Farook, one of the shooters in last week’s massacre in California, a source close to the investigation told Fox News Monday.
According to the source, the deposit was made to Farook’s account from WebBank.com on or about November 18, some two weeks before he and his wife Tashfeen Malik carried out the shooting, in which 14 were killed and 21 wounded.
Investigators are exploring whether the transaction was a loan taken out by Farook. He earned $53,000 a year with the county as an environmental health inspector, noted Fox News.
On its website, the Utah-headquartered WebBank.com describes itself as “a leading provider of national consumer and commercial private-label and bank card financing programs” on a nationwide basis.
On or about November 20, Farook reportedly converted $10,000 to cash, and withdrew the money at a Union Bank branch in San Bernardino. Afterwards, in the days before the shooting, there were at least three transfers of $5,000 that appear to be to Farook’s mother.
The loan and large cash withdrawal were described to Fox News by the source as “significant evidence of pre-meditation,” and further undercut the premise that an argument at the Christmas party on December 2 led to the shooting.
Fox News was also told that investigators are exploring whether the $10,000 cash withdrawal was used to reimburse Enrique Marquez, the man who bought the two semiautomatic rifles used in the San Bernardino shootings.
Marquez is now reportedly answering investigators’ questions. His home was reportedly raided by the FBI last Saturday.
“Right now our major concern at the FBI, the ATF, and the JTTF (Joint Terrorism Task Force) is determining how those firearms, the rifles in particular, got from Marquez to Farook and to Malik,” assistant special agent in charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, John D’Angelo, told reporters in California Monday.
At the same news conference, authorities said the weapons were all legally purchased in California between 2007 and 2012.
Contacted by Fox News, a woman who was identified by another employee as Laurie Gilbert and a member of WebBank.com’s strategic partnership, said they were “not going to respond to that (questions about the Farook transaction)” before hanging up. Another WebBank.com employee said they were “not talking to the press.”
A spokesman for Union Bank, David Weidman, declined to comment on specific questions. Weidman confirmed they are working with the FBI and others, adding, “We are cooperating to the full extent of the law with the agencies conducting investigations into this tragedy.”
News of the bank deposit comes hours after the FBI said Farook and Malik were both radicalized “for quite some time”.
The couple had reportedly taken target practice at Los Angeles-area shooting ranges, and once “within days” of the massacre.
It is believed Farook had contact with people from at least two terrorist organizations overseas, and investigators have also said Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) group in a Facebook posting.