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San Bernardino mass shooting: FBI probes possible terror ties

Syed Farook may have become “radicalized,” CNN sources say

Dylan Stableford

Yahoo News

FBI and police investigator are seen around a vehicle in which two suspects were shot following a mass shooting in San Bernardino California

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Authorities investigating the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., say they have yet to determine a motive for the mass shooting that left 14 dead and 21 others wounded during a company holiday party at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday. But law enforcement officials appear to be treating the attack as an act of terrorism.

The suspects — 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik — fired 65 to 75 rounds at the facility and left 1,400 rounds of ammunition and three pipe bombs attached to a remote-control device before fleeing the scene, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters Thursday morning.

The couple was killed in a massive shootout with police following a high-speed chase through San Bernardino. Police found an additional 1,600 rounds inside their rented SUV and a cache of weapons — including 6,700 rounds of ammunition and 12 more pipe bombs — in the apartment they shared in nearby Redlands.

Officials said that the two were not on the U.S. counterterrorism radar prior to the rampage.

Accoridng to CNN, Farook, an American citizen, traveled to Saudi Arabia where he met Malik in 2013 during a Muslim pilgrimmage to Mecca.

FBI assistant director David Bowdich said Malik, a native of Pakistan, came to the United States in July 2014 on a “fiancée visa,” eventually marrying Farook and giving birth to a daughter earlier this year.

At some point, CNN reports, Farook became radicalized and was “in touch with people being investigated by the FBI for international terrorism.” But the network’s law enforcement source cautioned that Farook’s alleged contact with known terror suspects were “soft connections.”

Witnesses told police Farook, an employee with the San Bernardino County public health department, was  at the company’s holiday party but left after an apparent dispute, returning to the event with his wife wearing tactical-looking gear and carrying assault weapons.

“There appears to be a degree of planning that went into this,” Burguan said. “Nobody gets upset at a party, goes home and puts together that kind of an elaborate scheme or plan to come back and do that.”

At the White House, President Obama said it was possible that the deadly assault in San Bernardino was “terrorist-related,” “workplace-related” or both.

“But we don’t know,” Obama said.

Law enforcement officials, though, told the New York Times that based on the stockpile of weapons police found, the suspects’ “Middle East travels and evidence that one of them had been in touch with people with Islamist extremist views,” authorities are treating the case as a “terrorism investigation.”

“There was obviously a mission here,” Bowdich said. “We know that. We do not know why.”

He told reporters that investigators are looking into the possibility that the couple used the online al-Qaeda magazine Inspire to help build their homemade explosives, but do not have evidence that they did.

“We cannot rule out anything at this point,” Bowdich said.

The Los Angeles Times reported investigators are leaning toward a possible hybrid “of terrorism and workplace” motivation.

“We’re very involved in terms of trying to see if the motive was something inspired by a terrorist organization or directed by a terrorist organization, or whether [Farook] was self-radicalized,” a law enforcement source told the paper.

Members of two mosques where Farook reportedly worshipped told NBC News he was a “a mild-mannered and devout Muslim who came to prayers on his lunch break.”

“We never saw him raise his voice,” Nazeem Ali, who prayed alongside Farook at Dar-al-Uloom, Al-Islamiyah in San Bernardino, told the network. “We never saw him curse at anyone, disrespect anyone. He was always a very nice guy.”

A former co-worker said Farook was well-liked and “rarely discussed religion at work.”

“He never struck me as a fanatic,” Griselda Reisinger told the Los Angeles Times. “He never struck me as suspicious.”

Farhan Khan, Farook’s brother-in-law, said he last saw him about a week ago, and had cannot fathom what motived his brother to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since Sandy Hook.

“I have no idea why he would do that,” Khan said at a news conference in Anaheim late Thursday. “I am in shock.”

San Bernardino: At least 14 people killed in mass shooting; suspect identified

Story highlights

  • One of the suspects involved in the San Bernardino shootings has been identified as Syed Farook, a county health inspector
  • Police say at least 14 people were killed, 17 hurt at health department holiday party
  • Two suspects shot dead after police chased them in black SUV

San Bernardino, California (CNN)With the investigation still unfolding, much is unclear about Wednesday’s deadly San Bernardino shooting at a center for people with developmental disabilities.

See latest developments

[Update 12:22 a.m ET Thursday]

The family has not been able to track down recently named suspect Syed Farook or his wife since Wednesday morning, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations).

[Update 12:02 a.m ET Thursday]

Farhan Khan, the brother-in-law of the suspect Syed Farook, told reporters: “I have no idea why he would he do something like this. I have absolutely no idea. i am in shock myself.” Khan said he last talked to Farook a week ago.

[Update midnight ET]

ATF tells CNN that one of the guns used in the shooting was legally purchased and traces back to someone believe to be connect with the shooting. The agency would not disclose the name of the purchaser.

[Update 11:56 p.m. ET Wednesday]

One of the suspects involved in the San Bernardino shootings has been identified as Syed Farook, an inspector with the county health department, who abruptly left the event at the Inland Regional Center before the shootings, multiple law enforcement sources tell CNN.

The sources said the residence in Redlands, California, surrounded by law enforcement is connected to Farook. It is that house where the chase began that led to the shootout with the occupants of the SUV.

The sources could not say for certain that he was in the SUV, if he was a shooter, or that he is one of the dead. The sources did say that Syed Farook is known to be a U.S. citizen.

[Previous story 11:56 ET]

Two suspects died in a gun battle with police Wednesday hours after authorities say they burst into a holiday party at a center for people with developmental disabilities and killed 14 people.

But it was unclear whether the furious shootout with the male and female suspects was the end of a daylong manhunt after the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.

An FBI raid was unfolding late Wednesday at an apartment in Redlands, where authorities were serving a search warrant connected to the shooting.

Mass shooting

The violence began around 11 a.m. at the convention building at the Inland Regional Center where employees with the county health department were attending a holiday event. Witnesses said at least two shooters opened fire, killing 14 people.

Another 17 people were hurt — many wounded by bullets from automatic-style rifles, some injured in the panic to escape.

The shooters fled in a black SUV, prompting a huge police response in the area.

As the hours passed, the hunt for the suspects continued with a tip taking officers to a home about 10 miles away in Redlands.

When detectives followed up on it, a black SUV with Utah plates passed by slowly then sped up and raced off, a law enforcement official close to the investigation told CNN. A police car spotted it and took up pursuit.

There was a shootout, the official said. The male suspect shot out of the vehicle while the woman drove. The SUV stopped a quarter a mile later, as an officer returned fire.

A device that looked like a bomb also flew out of the vehicle, Meredith Davis with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS. The SUV was racing back toward San Bernardino, she said.

Residents were stunned to hear the eruption of continuous gunfire. A barrage of bullets riddled the SUV’s windshield.

A third person who was caught running near the scene was detained, but police aren’t sure whether he was connected to either shooting.,zoompan,zoomwheel.html?access_token=pk.eyJ1IjoiY25uZGlnaXRhbCIsImEiOiJiYjIwMTgxNDZmNjgyODllMjAxYTYwOTAxYmY2MzI2MyJ9.8F6TQITXymFzCXy8tBqGgg

The shooting occurred at the Inland Regional Center (1) in San Bernardino, California. Two suspects were shot and killed by police in a residential area (2) about two miles away hours after the initial incident.

Suspects dressed for assault

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan didn’t say how old the suspects were or physically describe them in detail. He told reporters they were armed with assault-style rifles and handguns.

A law enforcement official told CNN the rifles were AR-15s or similar style weapons.

The man and the woman were dressed in what Burquan said was “assault-style clothing,” describing it as “dark, kind of tactical gear.”

He wouldn’t say if he knew if they were related.

Obama calls for gun reforms in wake of San Bernardino shooting

Ben Carson: Shooting is ‘another hate crime’

Witnessed text frightened messages

Hours after the shooting, the Inland Regional Center convention center was still an active scene. The bomb squad was working to determine whether they need to blow up two suspicious devices, one of which appeared to be a pipe bomb.

Coverage from CNN affiliates
  • KTLA
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  • Survivors of the mass shooting told of hiding in offices, bathrooms and closets, texting their loved ones that they feared they were next to be shot.

    In the moments after the initial bloodbath, SWAT teams had scoured the facility, unsure whether the shooters were still there and looking for people hiding from the horror.

    Marcos Aguilera received a text from his wife who works at the Inland Regional Center.

    “She heard the shots and crying,” he said. The situation became confusing when the fire alarm went off.

    “Everyone was confused,” he said, relating his wife’s account.

    A SWAT team eventually rescued his wife and two other co-workers. “When she exited the building, she said there were multiple bodies on the floor,” Aguilera told CNN.

    The center’s executive director, Lavinia Johnson, told CNN that she believed the county’s Department of Public Health was having a holiday party.

    Johnson said the fire alarm went off in her building, and people began to evacuate but then the order came to stay in place.

    Later police came and took people out of their offices, marching them into the parking lot with their hands in the air.

    San Bernardino is a city of just over 200,000 people 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

    Syria vote: Cameron and Corbyn clash over air strikes


    Media captionLive: MPs debate the arguments for and against bombing Syria ahead of a vote

    David Cameron has told MPs that bombing so-called Islamic State in Syria will “keep the British people safe”.

    But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the PM’s case “doesn’t stack up” as MPs debate whether to back air strikes.

    Mr Cameron faced calls to apologise for saying opponents of military action were “terrorist sympathisers”, with Mr Corbyn saying it “demeaned” his office.

    The PM declined to apologise, but said there was “honour” in voting for or against military action.

    The 10 hour Commons debate will end with a vote, the result of which is expected at about 22.30 GMT, on whether the UK joins others such as France, the US and Russia in bombing targets in Syria.

    Air strikes could begin soon, if the Commons delivers what Mr Cameron hopes will be a majority after Mr Corbyn abandoned attempts to impose his opposition to military action on Labour and allowed his MPs a free vote.

    Mr Cameron called on MPs to “answer the call from our allies” and take action against the “woman-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters” of IS, who he warned were “plotting to kill us and to radicalise our children right now”.

    He said MPs faced a simple question: “Do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”

    Media captionDavid Cameron insisted he was “not ignoring the risks” of military action in Syria
    Media captionJeremy Corbyn emphasised the “potentially far-reaching consequences” of the government’s vote on intervention in Syria

    The prime minister also defended his controversial claim that there were 70,000 moderate opposition fighters in Syria, saying it was the estimate of the Joint Intelligence Committee – the UK’s senior intelligence body.

    He said the majority were members of the Free Syrian Army and that there were a further 20,000 Kurdish fighters with whom Britain could also work.

    He told MPs the forces were “not ideal, not as many as we would like, but they are people we can work with”.

    Mr Cameron also said that in future the UK government would be referring to IS as Daesh as much as possible, because “this evil death cult is neither a true representation of Islam nor is it a state”.

    Daesh has negative connotations in the Middle East and is seen by some as a way of challenging the legitimacy of the group.

    Media captionSNP’s Robertson: I hope the PM regrets what he said
    Media captionLiam Fox: Relying on allies is ‘national embarrassment’

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told MPs: “It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the prime minister understands public opposition to his ill thought-out rush to war is growing – and wants to hold the vote before it slips from his hands.

    “Whether it’s the lack of a strategy worth the name, the absence of credible ground troops, the missing diplomatic plan for a Syrian settlement, the failure to address the impact on the terrorist threat or the refugee crisis and civilian casualties.

    “It’s become increasingly clear that the prime minister’s proposals for military action simply do not stack up.”

    He disputed Mr Cameron’s claim about ground troops, saying it was “quite clear there are no such forces” and only extremists would take advantage of the strikes against IS.

    Three former Labour ministers – Alan Johnson, Dame Margaret Beckett and Yvette Cooper – made speeches in favour of extending military action.

    Mr Johnson, a former home secretary, said he believed IS had to be “confronted and destroyed if we are to properly defend our country and our way of life”.

    And he took a swipe at Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters, saying: “I find this decision as difficult as anyone to make, I wish I had frankly the self-righteous certitude of the finger-jabbing representatives of our new and kinder type of politics, who will no doubt soon be contacting those of us who support this motion tonight.”

    Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham told BBC News he would be voting against air strikes as he believed they would make an attack in the UK more likely but he added: “I wouldn’t rule out taking military action at some point.”

    Former Labour leader Ed Miliband will also vote against air strikes, telling the LabourList website they would not “defeat ISIL or make us safer here at home”.

    Media captionKeith Doyle joined anti-war protesters outside the Houses of Parliament
    Image captionOne anti-war protester crawled under a lorry

    A number of Conservative rebels spoke out against the prime minister’s position.

    Former shadow home secretary David Davis said allied air strikes against IS targets had achieved the “opposite” of their intended effect and the number of recruits to Daesh had doubled to 30,000 since they began – “one extra recruit for every target”.

    He said it was “debatable” whether allowing the RAF to strike targets in Syria “will make any difference at all” to the military effort.

    Conservative MP John Baron warned MPs that “without a comprehensive strategy, air strikes will simply reinforce the West’s long-term failure in the region”.

    Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, said: “I appeal to colleagues on all sides to make sure that we do not ignore the lessons of Afghanistan, ignore the lessons of Iraq, ignore the lessons of Libya.

    “Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past, let’s not give the green light to military action without a comprehensive and credible plan to win the peace.”

    But Lib Dem leader Tim Farron warned against learning the wrong lessons from the “illegal, counterproductive war in Iraq”, saying: “On balance it is right to take military action to degrade and defeat this evil death cult.”


    Members of the Free Syrian ArmyImage copyrightReuters

    By BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner

    Independent experts say the figure of 70,000 is broadly accurate but there is a high degree of scepticism as to how many could actually be persuaded to fight IS instead of the Syrian regime, let alone be moulded into a cohesive, effective force.

    There are also questions over just how “moderate” and pluralistic many of the Islamist factions are within this number. It is far from certain that, if empowered in a post-Assad, post-IS Syria, battle-hardened Sunni rebels would be happy to share power with Christians and Alawites.

    Read more from Frank

    Jeremy Corbyn’s aides had said as many as 90 Labour MPs could vote to back thegovernment motion, although there is speculation it may actually be between 40 and 50.

    At least 110 MPs from six different parties – including the SNP, which opposes action – have already signed up to an amendment seeking to block air strikes.

    According to BBC research, of the 640 MPs expected to vote, 362 MPs are in favour of the motion while 175 are against. Of the remainder, 19 are “leaning to” supporting the government, three are “leaning against” while 80 are undecided.

    Anti-war protesters staged a demonstration outside Parliament as MPs debated the issue, with one woman crawling under a lorry and refusing to move. She is reported to have been arrested.

    The prime minister caused controversy on the eve of the vote by labelling Mr Corbyn and other opponents of action as “terrorist sympathisers”.

    Responding to SNP and Labour calls to apologise for the comments, Mr Cameron said: “Everyone in this House should make up their mind on the arguments in this House and there’s honour in voting for, there’s honour in voting against.

    “That is the way this House should operate and that’s why I wanted to be absolutely clear at the start of my statement that this is about how we fight terrorism not whether we fight terrorism.”

    Chart showing air strikes in Iraq and Syria

    The government says military action is “only one component of a broader strategy” to tackle IS and the UK government would not deploy troops on the ground.

    The UK is already providing intelligence, surveillance and other logistical support to countries fighting IS in Syria. The RAF has also carried out thousands of raids on IS targets in Iraq since Parliament approved similar action there last year.

    Map of air strikes in Iraq and Syria

    Will media use Daesh name?

    By David Sillito, BBC Media correspondent

    The prime minister has decided the enemy he wants to bomb is now called Daesh (pronounced Die-esh) and he wants the media to follow. So will they?

    The group itself shortened its name in June 2014 to Islamic State. The American government calls it ISIL. The Sun newspaper is discussing the issue but at the moment still calls it IS. The Times uses Islamic State, followed by (Isis) in brackets. The New York Times uses a mixture of Islamic State and ISIS. However, large parts of the media in Spain and France have now begun to use the word Daesh.

    The BBC response today was that they are continuing to call it “so-called Islamic State”.

    A spokesman said: “While people can debate the terminology we’re sure the British public are under absolutely no illusion about what type of organisation this is.

    “The BBC uses the name the group itself uses, using additional descriptions to help make it clear we are referring to the group as they refer to themselves, such as ‘so-called Islamic State’ or ‘Islamic State Group’.”

    ITV News will continue to use IS, ISIS, and “so-called Islamic State”, rather than Daesh, saying “our audience is more familiar with these terms”. And the Daily Telegraph says: “We use a range of terms to refer to this terrorist group but we note, with interest, the PM’s change.”

    Dow briefly falls 150, negative for year as energy weighs


    Stocks try for gains; Qualcomm up 7%

    View photo

    Getty Images. U.S. stocks traded in a range after a solid day of gains as investors eyed data and awaited a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

    U.S. stocks were sharply lower in late trading after oil broke below $40 a barrel and there was more evidence of a weak manufacturing sector in the Fed’s Beige Book. ( Tweet This )

    The sell-off began after Fed Chair Janet Yellen reaffirmed the case for a rate hike at the Fed’s Dec. 16 meeting but reiterated that the decision will be data dependent.

    “The question of whether the Fed is making a mistake still lingers out there,” said Art Cashin, head of NYSE floor operations for UBS.

    Traders also said the market was on edge because of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Ca .

    Art Hogan, of Wunderlich Securities, said the market was nervous about the shootings after the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last month. There was no evidence the California shootings were terror related.

    “It’s hard to know but even if it’s not it sure feels like it,” said Hogan. “First it’s Paris, then it could be on our shores.”

    The S&P 500 fell 1 percent, while the Dow Jones industrial average traded more than 150 points lower. The Nasdaq composite turned lower after earlier holding slight gains.

    The Dow fell back into negative territory for the year in intraday trade.

    “People squaring up their positions and taking off some risk ahead of ECB and jobs Friday,” said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. He noted some traders could be concerned the European Central Bank’s Thursday decision on monetary policy might not be as stimulative as the market has priced in.

    The U.S. central bank’s Beige Book showed economic activity grew at a “modest pace” in most regions. Stocks turned lower as the 2 p.m. release of the data approached.

    Treasury yields held earlier highs, with the 2-year yield (U.S.:US2Y) at 0.94 percent and the 10-year yield (U.S.:US10Y) at 2.18 percent.

    “I just think it’s another nail in the coffin in terms of a rate hike this month,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial. “I don’t think it’s because of (the Beige Book). I think it’s oil.”

    U.S. crude settled $1.91 lower, or 4.6 percent, at $39.94 a barrel. Weekly crude oil inventories showed an unexpected rise of 1.2 million barrels.

    Energy traded more than 3 percent lower to lead all S&P 500 sectors lower. Chevron (CVX), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) were the greatest weights on the Dow Jones industrial average.

    “Crude is such a big part of this (selling) right now,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.

    The Dow transports fell more than 2 percent to below its 50-day moving average.

    Check out CNBC’s special report on energy ahead of OPEC

    Earlier, the major averages traded mixed, while the U.S. dollar index spiked to hit its highest level since April 2003 after Yellen said in prepared remarks that the U.S. economy has come a long way, but the Fed’s decision on rates could still be swayed by data before its December meeting.

    Yellen also testifies Thursday morning before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

    “I think people are realizing that a quarter-point rise in the federal funds rate isn’t the end of the world,” said Bryce Doty, senior fixed income portfolio manager at Sit Investment Associates.

    The U.S. dollar index dipped below 100 after earlier touching a high of 100.51, topping the 100.39 high from March to briefly trade at levels not seen in more than 12 years.

    The euro recovered to trade above $1.06, while the yen traded near 123.31 yen against the dollar as of 2:16 p.m.

    Gold settled down $9.70 at $1,053.80 an ounce, off session lows of $1,049.40 an ounce, its lowest level since Oct. 2009.

    Read More Bond market is starting to get cold feet about rates

    Earlier, the Nasdaq composite attempted to hold slight gains as shares of Apple (AAPL) struggled for gains and Qualcomm traded higher. The Nasdaq 100 briefly traded above its closing high of 4,719.06.

    Qualcomm (QCOM) traded about 6 percent higher after briefly jumping more than 8 percent in opening trade after news the chipmaker entered a 3G/4Glicensing agreement with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi .

    Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) hit all-time intraday highs in morning trade Wednesday.

    Read More Fed’s Lockhart: Upcoming FOMC meeting may be ‘historic’

    “The Fed has a sort of an unspoken agreement that they’re going to give a consistent message going into (the Fed meeting,” said Sharon Stark, managing director and fixed income strategist at D.A. Davidson.

    “The employment report on Friday is going to be important. If it’s weaker than expected then there may be questions about maybe the Fed won’t hike, but I don’t think (that would derail the Fed) given the strength of the ADP report,” she said.

    The Federal Open Market Committee meets Dec. 15 to 16 and could raise short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

    “Given past rhetoric, the fading of financial market instability and Chinese concerns, and generally robust U.S. domestic data, her likely goal will be to elevate the market’s expectation for a December rate hike from just above 70 percent to close to 90 percent. In this way, the Fed will manage to avoid too much disruption on the December 16th decision day,” RBC Global Asset Management Chief Economist Eric Lascelles said in a note.

    Investors are also looking ahead to the European Central Bank’s decision on monetary policy due Thursday morning ET.

    “It’s a lot to talk about,” said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. “I don’t think any of it’s terribly important. We probably know what’s going to happen.”

    Markets expect further easing from the ECB. The probability for a December hike in the United States has held steady above 70 percent, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

    Ahead of Friday’s November jobs report, ADP data showed November private payrolls topped expectations at 217,000 .

    Revised third-quarter productivity rose 2.2 percent , while unit labor costs rose 1.8 percent.

    U.S. stocks closed near session highs Tuesday, the first trading day of December, shaking off intraday pressure from the weak manufacturing data.

    Over the last 10 years, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up 70 percent of the time in December with an average return of 1.27 percent, according to analysis using Kensho.

    In other corporate news, Yahoo (YHOO) traded more than 5 percent higher after the Wall Street Journal reported the company’s board will discuss selling the flagship internet business, how to maximize the value of its stake in Alibaba (BABA), and consider the future of CEO Marissa Mayer at meetings this week.

    An SEC filing showed billionaire investor David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management has taken a 9.25 percent stake in TerraForm Power (TERP), and is considering potential claims over its relationship with parent SunEdison (SUNE).

    Read More Early movers: CAB, CVX, MBLY, SUNE, YHOO, ZFGN, C, ASNA & more

    In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones industrial average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) declined 155 points, or 0.87 percent, to 17,733, with Exxon Mobil the greatest laggard and UnitedHealth(UNH) the only gainer.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) traded down 22 points, or 1.06 percent, at 2,080, with energy leading all 10 sectors lower.

    The Nasdaq (^IXIC) composite traded down 31 points, or 0.6 percent, at 5,125.

    The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) (^VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 16.

    About five stocks declined for every advancer on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 525 million and a composite volume of nearly 2.8 billion in afternoon trade.

    Disclosure: CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal has a minority stake in Kensho

    —CNBC’s Patti Domm and Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

    On tap this week:


    3:40 pm: San Francisco Fed President John Williams on outlook


    7:30 a.m.: Challenger Job-Cut Report

    7:45 a.m.: ECB rate decision

    8:30 a.m.: ECB President Mario Draghi news briefing

    8:30 a.m.: Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester

    8:30 a.m.: Initial claims

    9:45 a.m.: Services PMI

    10:00 a.m.: Fed Chair Yellen at Joint Economic Committee on economic outlook

    10:00 a.m.: ISM nonmanufacturing

    10:00 a.m.: Factory orders

    1:10 p.m.: Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer on financial stability and shadow banks


    OPEC meets in Vienna

    8:30 a.m.: Employment report

    8:30 a.m.: International trade

    10:15 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker welcoming remarks at policy forum

    11:45 a.m.: ECB President Draghi at Economic Club of NY

    3:45 p.m.: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on policy challenges

    4:10 p.m.: Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota on policy renormalization

    *Planner subject to change.

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    Donald Trump on ISIS: ‘You have to take out their families’

    Donald Trump’s plan to defeat the Islamic State involves destroying them — and their families.

    “I would knock the hell out of ISIS, I would hit them so hard,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

    Trump’s comments came a day after the Lebanese government released Saja al-Dulaimi, the former wife of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as part of a prisoner swap with an al-Qaida affiliate. But there was “no immediate indication that Dulaimi’s release was for the benefit of ISIS,”CNN reported. (She has been divorced from Baghdadi for more than six years and told Al Jazeera she hopes to resettle in Turkey.)

    Meanwhile, the Republican frontrunner is attacking President Obama on ISIS, releasing a new campaign video critical of the administration’s response to the ongoing terror threat.

    The video, released via Trump’s Instagram account on Tuesday, uses footage of a smiling Obama posing for selfies during a BuzzFeed photo shoot in February juxtaposed with images of ISIS training camps, the recent terror attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian airliner.

    “It is time for serious leadership,” reads an overlay before Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” appears.

    According to a new Quinnipiac national poll released Wednesday, Trump is seen as best equipped among GOP candidates to handle terrorism, with 29 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters holding that view. Ben Carson, at 19 percent, is viewed as the second-best candidate when it comes to dealing with global terror, the poll found.

    “I say ISIS is our No. 1 threat,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday. “And we have a president that doesn’t know what he is doing. And all he’s worried about is climate change.”

    Trump still leads GOP race despite controversies

    A new poll shows Donald Trump still leading the GOP race, with 27 percent of Republicans nationwide backing the real estate mogul. But Marco Rubio has surged into second place with 17 percent support. Ted Cruz jumped to 16 percent, tying with Ben Carson. Nancy Cordes reports on how Trump’s comments about Muslims and a disabled reporter have not hurt him.

    Saudi Arabia to build world’s tallest tower at one kilometer high

    Jeddah Tower


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    Jeddah Tower

    Plans to build the world’s tallest tower in Saudi Arabia are forging ahead after funds for the final phase of the $2.2 billion project were secured earlier this week.

    The Middle East is set, once more, to become home to another record-breaking feat of architecture and engineering with the completion of the Jeddah Tower (previously called the Kingdom Tower), which will soar a full one kilometer into the clouds (3,280 feet), dethroning the current title-holder, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai by 173 meters (568 feet).

    Earlier this week the Saudi government announced that a financing deal between the developer, the Jeddah Economic Company, and Alinma Investment had been signed, giving the project the final green light.

    Set to open in the port city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the tower will be a mixed-use building and feature a seven-storey Four Seasons hotel with 200 rooms; seven storeys of office space; 121 serviced apartments; 318 different types of housing units; and the world’s highest observatory at 660 m above ground.

    Inspired by its desert surroundings, the tower, designed by designers Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, is meant to evoke the “folded fronds of a young desert plant” shooting up from the ground.

    The idea is to represent new life, and new development around the record-breaking project.

    Servicing the 170 storeys, however, requires a sophisticated elevator system. A total of 59 elevators, five double-deck elevators, and 12 escalators will help visitors move about the monster building. Elevators that shuttle visitors to the observatory will travel at a rate of 10 meters per second.

    And the sky terrace, which will open on the 157th floor, will open out into the clouds from the penthouse floor.

    Construction of the first 26 floors is complete.

    Meanwhile, the Jeddah Tower forms part of a larger project, Jeddah Economic City, a modern community that will span 5.3 million square meters and serve as a business and tourism hotspot.

    The waterfront district will feature a luxury shopping mall, luxury hotels, open spaces, residential and business areas and a seaside promenade.

    The Jeddah Tower is set for completion in 2020.

    China’s yuan set for IMF reserve status

    • 29 November 2015
    • From the sectionBusiness
    Piles of Chinese bank notesImage copyrightGetty Images

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to announce on Monday that China’s currency, the yuan, will join the fund’s group of international reserve currencies.

    Just the US dollar, the euro, Japan’s yen and the British pound are currently part of this select band.

    Earlier this month, IMF head Christine Lagarde backed the yuan’s inclusion.

    If the decision is made, the yuan is likely to join the basket next year, experts said.

    China is the world’s second largest economy behind the US, and asked for its currency to become a reserve currency last year.

    Concerns about Beijing keeping the yuan artificially low to help exporters is one reason why the currency has previously failed to meet the criteria for reserve currencies set out by the IMF.

    However, Chinese officials have a made a concerted effort to build support for the yuan’s inclusion, and a recent IMF staff report endorsed such a move.

    Initially, the currency’s inclusion would be largely a symbolic gesture, analysts said.