Officials investigating the San Bernardino, Calif. terror attack are looking very strongly into the possibility that Tashfeen Mailk, the wife accused in the shootings, was “an operative,” an official told Fox News on Tuesday.
A law enforcement official said authorities are certain Malik was radicalized before she came to the United States, and are looking very closely at her family overseas as also being radicalized.
Malik was one of just 519 Pakistanis allowed into the country last year specifically to marry a U.S. citizen. Her path to the United States has raised warning flags on the U.S. government’s immigration vetting practices after she was identified as one of two attackers in California.
On Monday, the FBI said that Mailk and her American husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, had been radicalized “for quite some time.” That raised the prospect that Malik’s anti-American sentiments could have surfaced before U.S. officials evaluated whether she should be allowed to move here.
A law enforcement official told Fox News on Tuesday that officials are looking “very closely” at Mailk’s family overseas as also being radicalized. An official said the “number one” way terrorist organizations are recruiting is through family, with the internet being second.
The Obama administration is reviewing the program, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday. He did not say what changes were being considered.
The K-1 visa program is among the smallest visa categories managed by the government. Of more than 9.9 million visas issued in fiscal 2014, just 35,925 — roughly 0.3 percent — were fiance visas, according to State Department figures.
Much of the focus is on rooting out marriage fraud. A couple must prove they have physically seen each other within the past two years, unless meeting in person would violate “strict and long-established customs” or cause an “extreme hardship.”
“This visa has been totally under the radar,” said Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Center told the Associated Press. “The issue of marriage fraud has definitely gotten a lot of attention, just not as a security vulnerability.”
Is it too much to ask we trace back to the other 518 let in and check them out. You know, “robust” and “rigorous” screening and all that.