Neighbor of San Bernardino Attackers Faces Terrorism Charges, Officials Say

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

California shooters’ friend alleged to have gotten them guns is arrested.

Enrique Marquez Jr., a friend and former neighbor of San Bernardino, California, gunman Syed Rizwan Farook, was charged Thursday with buying the rifles used in the assault and plotting terrorist attacks with Farook in 2011 and 2012.Federal authorities have arrested a man who investigators say supplied guns to the married couple who killed 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino. District Court in Riverside, California, with conspiring with Farook to provide material support — including himself, a firearm and explosives — for crimes of terrorism; making a false statement in connection with acquisition of firearms; and immigration fraud for what authorities said was his sham marriage to a distant relative of Farook’s.

U.S. prosecutors were considering filing firearms charges against Marquez, with state gun charges also possible, one of the government sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Marquez, 24, who had checked himself into a Los Angeles-area psychiatric facility shortly after the shootings, had several connections to Farook and Malik and quickly became a key figure in the investigation of the shootings. He and Farook also planned to attack a state highway during rush hour with pipe bombs and shoot at law enforcement and emergency crews as they arrived. But she said his purchase of the firearms and his failure to warn authorities about Farook’s intention to carry out some sort of mass casualty attack “had fatal consequences.” Authorities had previously told NBC News that Farook bought the rifles and gave them to Farook. In an affidavit accompanying the charges, the FBI further disclosed that he is also believed to have bought explosive material used to build a pipe bomb found at the scene.

Farook, the U.S-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and Pakistani-born Malik were killed in a shootout with police a few hours after their assault on the party. The San Bernardino attack, which also left 21 people wounded, has stirred concerns among Americans about national security and the reach of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), becoming an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. The attack came a few weeks after gunmen and suicide bombers affiliated with ISIL, which has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq, killed 130 in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit San Bernardino, where he will meet with the families of victims privately, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday during a press briefing. Farook later introduced Marquez to radical Islamic ideology, including the extremist views of the Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born al Qaeda recruiter who was killed by a U.S. drone in 2011, according to the affidavit.

The third charge — the sham marriage — is related to Marquez’s wedding to a member of Farook’s extended family so she could obtain legal U.S. status, prosecutors said.

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