CORONA, CALIFORNIA – FBI agents on Thursday searched the California home belonging to a family member of the husband-and-wife killers who massacred 14 people in the San Bernardino terror attack, but the relative was not arrested and has not been named a suspect.
Syed Rizwan Farook’s brother, Syed Raheel Farook, is a military veteran who earned medals for fighting global terrorism. The search warrant is sealed, and FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller would not disclose any information other than to confirm a search was conducted at a home in the city of Corona in an ongoing investigation.
To serve a search warrant, authorities must have probable cause a crime was committed and items connected to the crime are likely to be found at the location.
Messages left for attorneys representing the Farook family were not immediately returned.
Stacy Mozer, who lives around the corner from the home, said he watched as agents carried away armloads of boxes filled with manila envelopes, a computer tower and stacks of paper. At least a dozen agents were present.
He described Raheel Farook and wife, Tatiana, as ideal neighbors. The couple drove another neighbor to doctor’s appointments last year when she had cancer surgery, treated her to meals out and fetched her prescriptions for her, even paying for them, he said.
The couple frequently strolled with their 1-year-old daughter around the community of town homes and took her to the pool.
“I would find it very hard to believe that they would be involved in any way,” he said. “I do know that if you have a family member, you don’t have control of their lives, and I don’t think they had control of their brother’s life.”
Mozer said the family’s home was searched twice after the December shooting, and authorities broke down the door on an earlier occasion.
Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire Dec. 2 at a meeting of his San Bernardino County co-workers. They died hours later in a shootout with police. The 14 people killed marked the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
Farook’s family has said it had no inkling about the plot.
Raheel Farook was a Navy information system technician from 2003 to 2007, military records show. He was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and received the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, among other awards.