ISIS hails California attackers as 'soldiers of caliphate'

AFP , Saturday 5 Dec 2015

The Islamic State group on Saturday hailed the perpetrators of a mass shooting in the US state of California as "soldiers" of its caliphate, without explicitly claiming the deadly attack.

In its English-language radio broadcast, the group praised the Wednesday shooting that killed 14 people and wounded 21 others.

"Two soldiers of the Khilafah (caliphate) executed an attack on the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California," the ISIS radio broadcast said in English.

ISIS refers to the swathe of territory it controls in Syria and Iraq as an Islamic caliphate.

The group's Arabic-language radio broadcast earlier in the day had referred to the attackers as "supporters of the Islamic State."

The English-language broadcast said the attackers, Syed Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik, were "killed in the path of Allah."

But the group stopped short of issuing an official claim of responsibility for the shooting in the format it has used in the past for attacks in Paris and elsewhere.

The FBI said late Friday it was probing the attack as "an act of terrorism" after reports that Malik had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.

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