Source: San Bernardino Shooter May Have Considered an Attack Years Ago

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook
Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook are pictured passing through Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in this July 27, 2014. US Customs and Border Protection/Handout via Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the shooters who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last week may have contemplated an attack on a U.S. target as early as 2011 or 2012, a U.S. government source familiar with the investigation said on Wednesday.

Investigators are also looking into whether Farook had asked his neighbor, Enrique Marquez, to purchase guns on his behalf in 2011 and 2012 to avoid calling attention to himself, the source said.

The source said the probe is also examining whether there were irregularities in how Farook's wife and co-shooter Tashfeen Malik obtained her visa to enter the United States as his fiancée.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley alluded to potential problems with her visa at a congressional hearing on Wednesday. "Our government apparently didn't catch the false address in Pakistan that she listed on her application," Grassley said.