Father of San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik condemns daughter’s actions

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Enrique Marquez: Why is the FBI questioning a friend of the San Bernardino shooter?.

A U.S. congressional panel is considering whether online lending platforms need more oversight after a perpetrator of last week’s shooting massacre in San Bernardino, California, used one of the websites to obtain cash days before the rampage.

The 24-year-old Wal-Mart security guard who purchased the military-style rifles used by the San Bernardino shooters — Enrique Marquez Jr. — has come under questioning over his relationship with his friend, the male gunman, Syed Rizwan Farook.CORONA, CA: In the days since his high school friend and former neighbor Syed Riswan Farook carried out a deadly attack in Southern California, Enrique Marquez has been thrust to the center of a massive federal terror investigation.

The House Financial Services Committee is examining the loan and has sent questions to the Treasury Department, which deals with the financial industry’s reports on suspicious transactions, according to the panel’s communications director, David Popp. Marquez purchased the two semi-automatic weapons used by Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, in the massacre that killed 14 people last week.

Until then, Marquez, 24, had appeared to live a mostly unremarkable life, working short stints at a variety of low-paying jobs and residing mostly with his mother and step-father in the suburban Riverside house in which he grew up. Investigators are also looking at whether the husband accused in the shootings was planning an attack in 2012 but abandoned those plans, according to two people familiar with the investigation who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. While there’s no indication Prosper did anything wrong, some analysts have speculated the loan may still prompt more rules for the rapidly growing business of Internet lending, potentially adding costs and eroding profits. A document by the FBI that lists items seized during a search of the assailants’ Redlands home included an “empty long gun box, black, in name of Enrique Marquez.” Farook and Marquez were next-door neighbors on Tomlinson Avenue in Riverside until a few months ago. Though the FBI believes the pair was inspired in part by Islamic State ideology — Malik pledged allegiance to the group’s leader in a Facebook post around the time of last week’s massacre — agents are still looking for other motivations and sources of radicalization, especially because the couple’s interest in extremism predates the terror group’s emergence as a household name. “ISIL inspiration may well have been part of this, but these two killers were starting to radicalize towards martyrdom and jihad as early as 2013,” said Comey, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “And so that’s really before ISIL became the global jihad leader that it is.” The latest disclosure also suggests that the government’s vetting process failed to detect Malik’s radicalization when she applied for the visa, though Comey said he didn’t know enough to say whether weaknesses in the visa process enabled her to enter the U.S. “After this hearing today, every American will be asking the question, how did this woman come in on a fiancée visa?” said Sen.

Although Farook was four years older, the two boys shared a common interest in automotive repair, and could often be seen working under the hoods of cars on their driveways, friends and neighbors said. Sources said it remained unclear how far along any planning might have been, but one source said a university building may have been among the potential targets, while two sources said possible targets could have included gatherings in public areas. In about 2008, as Farook was becoming more devoted to his Muslim faith, Marquez converted to Islam and began attending Friday prayers at a Corona mosque. Sources told NBC News the information was developed from examination of electronic media Farook and Malik left behind on their smashed phones and computers. FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that agents haven’t uncovered direct ties between the couple and any terror groups, as he testified about the difficulty of detecting home-grown extremists.

The young convert attended prayers sporadically, sometimes missing them for months at a time, and he confided to Hasan that he was struggling with Islam. Farook had been employed by San Bernardino County for five years, most recently as an environmental specialist, and also held an account at a bank when he sought the loan from Prosper, which screens borrowers and verifies key information while arranging funding. I am in such pain that I cannot even describe it.” The father, Gulzar Ahmed Malik, has been a resident in the kingdom since the early 1980s, the Saudi Interior Ministry says. Farook wasn’t on federal lists that lenders use to check borrowers for ties to terrorism, according to Scott Sanborn, chief operating officer at LendingClub Corp., one of Prosper’s main competitors. “The fact that this happened is a tragedy,” he said in an interview this week. “But the fact that it may have come from a marketplace lender is an unfortunate coincidence.”

So far, we really don’t have much to go with because the people who remember him remember that he used to come and pray but that’s pretty much it.” Tatiana Farook once introduced her sister to Adams, but Adams said the woman spoke little English and kept to herself. Viviana Ramirez, 23, a friend of Marquez and a fellow student at Riverside City College, described him as shy but said they bonded over their mutual desire to enlist in the military. After leaving Power Security, Marquez was hired by United Security Services in Corona, where he made about $9 an hour as an unarmed security guard, mostly working nights on patrol at construction sites or warehouses. But Marquez struggled with the responsibility: he forgot when other guards were on vacation; shifts were missed. “He couldn’t handle the step up,” said the man, an account manager at United Security who asked not to be named. “He just couldn’t take the stress.” He subsequently worked security at a local bar.

Risch said Marquez and Farook “were plotting an actual attack” that year, including purchasing weapons, but became apprehensive and shelved the plan because of law enforcement activity and arrests in the area. He would sometimes publish melancholy or depressing posts on Facebook, Ramirez said, even though his page was otherwise littered with pictures of him smiling or making clownish faces while wearing a bicycle helmet. Rosie Aguirre, who lives across the street from the Marquez home in Riverside, described her neighbor as a “happy-go-lucky person.” Marquez was trying to lose weight, she said, which led to his decision to ride his bike and exercise more. Though Comey declined to answer questions about whether encrypted communication had been used before the attack, he did use the appearance to reiterate his longstanding concerns that criminals, terrorists and spies can use encryption applications on their smartphones to evade detection from law enforcement. The two gunmen were shot dead by police. “We have no idea what he said because those messages were encrypted,” Comey said. “And to this day, I can’t tell you what he said with that terrorist 109 times the morning of that attack.

We have to grapple with it.” America’s counterterrorism infrastructure has had success flagging individuals who try to travel abroad to fight alongside militants, fund operations overseas or who communicate online with overseas terrorists.

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