Gun buyer, gunman linked by marriage, possible previous plot

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gun buyer, gunman linked by marriage, possible previous plot.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The gunman who killed his co-workers in San Bernardino, California, and the friend who bought the assault rifles used in the shooting were related through marriage and may have plotted an attack together three years ago. Federal authorities are expected to indict the former neighbor of San Bernardino killers Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik for purchasing two of the guns the shooters used in last week’s massacre.

CORONA, CAalifornia – 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. New revelations from officials and public records show a much deeper connection between Syed Rizwan Farook and Enrique Marquez than previously was disclosed. 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. His neighbors there said they were shocked this week when authorities revealed that Marquez had supplied the guns used by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in their shooting spree at a holiday party for San Bernardino County employees that left 14 dead and 21 injured.

Officials investigating the California shooting believe Farook and Malik were planning an 2012 attack in the Los Angeles area, but ultimately decided against it. 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. According to Fox News, Marquez is the only suspect who is likely to be brought up on charges any time soon, but law enforcement officials are monitoring other subjects as well. 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.

FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the two shooters were radicalized well before Malik came to the U.S. on a fiancée visa and they had discussed jihad and martyrdom as early as 2013. 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. Investigators are trying to determine if Farook’s path toward extremism predated that time and whether it led to plans to launch an attack in 2012, according to two people familiar with the investigation who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Marquez and Farook “were plotting an actual attack” that year, including buying weapons, but became apprehensive and shelved the plan because of law enforcement activity and arrests in the area, said Idaho Sen. The ceremony took place at the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco, according to the marriage license, though the mosque’s facility manager denied it occurred there.

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. The FBI informed Fox News that this investigation is one of the “most comprehensive” in recent history, adding that the bureau has conducted more than 300 interviews in the U.S. and has dispatched authorities to Europe for further investigation.

His brother-in-law, Raheel Farook, is a Navy veteran who served from 2003 to 2007 and earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, among other awards. Tommy Lopez, who said he became friends with Marquez after meeting at a punk rock show seven months ago, said he never talked about his wife and was not religious. At Walmart, fellow employee Ashlee Sims, 25, described him as somewhat withdrawn and “awkward.” Outside of work, friends and acquaintances say, he wanted to belong.

Several neighbors say Marquez continued to live at home, and two said they had never seen him with a woman and were surprised to hear he was married. “I saw no sign of him having a wife – it was only his mom in the house,” said Lori Aguirre, who lives across the street and said she knew Marquez because he sometimes drove her son to and from school. 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. Hong) FILE – This undated combination of file photos provided by the FBI, left, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook.

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