San Bernardino Attack: Visas, Wives and Terror

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP News in Brief at 5:48 a.m. EST.

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. A 24-year-old Wal-Mart security guard, known to friends as a shy cycling enthusiast who wanted to join the military, has emerged as a key figure in last week’s terror attack at a San Bernardino social services center.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The gunman who massacred his co-workers in the San Bernardino rampage 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. 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. New revelations from officials and public records show a much deeper connection between Syed Rizwan Farook and Enrique Marquez than previously was disclosed. James Risch. “It’s brand new that he has admitted that in 2012 they had something in mind and they didn’t do it because there had been some immediate arrests by the counter-terrorism people right there in the immediate area, and as a result they got cold feet,” Risch, R-Idaho, said on CNN. 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.

Marquez has cooperated with FBI agents, who have been interviewing him in recent days, according to a law enforcement source speaking on the condition of anonymity. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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, said Idaho Sen. Marquez told investigators that he and Farook planned an attack in the United States in 2012 but never followed through, according to one law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. The son of a Moroccan-born market vendor and his Belgian-born civil servant wife dropped out of high school his senior year and later began to study sports therapy. 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. Marquez, whose security guard license in California expired last year, had worked at Wal-Mart since May, but has since been fired, spokesman Brian Nick said.

They called the Belgian police and asked them to detain him before he boarded the plane, but were told there was no legal basis for doing so since he was an adult. 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. By age 19, Bouzzaouit had been killed on a Syrian battlefield. “A noble warrior,” read the text message sent to his mother in February to announce his death.

Viviana Ramirez, 23, a friend of Marquez’s and fellow student at Riverside Community College, described him as shy but said they bonded over their mutual desire to enlist in the military. His brother-in-law, Raheel Farook, is a Navy veteran, serving from 2003 to 2007 and earning 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. But cozying up to the GOP presidential front-runner is fraught with risks, particularly after his controversial calls to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. and comments to a Jewish group that some said bordered on anti-Semitic. Late Wednesday, Netanyahu moved to contain any potential controversy, saying he rejected Trump’s comments about Muslims and that Israel “respects all religions.” Netanyahu said he would be meeting Trump on Dec. 28, just as he agrees to meet any presidential candidate who visits the country, and that the meeting did not amount to an endorsement.

A visit to Israel is considered a rite of passage for U.S. presidential candidates as they seek to burnish their foreign policy credentials and appeal to Jewish American voters, and Netanyahu has hosted scores of candidates and elected American officials over the years. He would sometimes publish melancholy or depressing posts on Facebook, Ramirez said, even though his page was otherwise littered with pictures of Marquez smiling or making clownish faces while wearing a bicycle helmet.

The main point is that the force is intended to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic State by using a small group of special operations troops — possibly fewer than 100 — to more aggressively use intelligence information, to include capturing and killing the group’s leaders. In theory, this would generate even more and better intelligence, feeding what the military calls a “virtuous cycle” of intelligence-driven air and ground operations.

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.

Contributing to this report were AP reporters Eric Tucker and Tami Abdollah in Washington, Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles and Brian Skoloff in San Bernardino. Brittani Adams, a neighbor of Syed Raheel Farook, said she had seen Marquez and Chernykh around the family home but the two looked like anything but a married couple.

It was a classic form of double-dealing in China’s murky anti-counterfeiting industry, which is itself plagued with fraud, an Associated Press investigation has found. Some of the cases documented by the AP involved potentially dangerous products: counterfeit auto parts, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and electrical components. Robert Dear, 57, repeatedly interrupted public defender Daniel King and accused him of seeking a gag order in the case to conceal what Dear portrayed as Planned Parenthood’s crimes that led to the Nov. 27 assault.

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.” Despite Marquez’s links to the terror suspects, Ramirez said she doubts he would have done anything to help Farook and Malik if he knew what they had intended to do with the weapons. The conflict added a new level of turmoil to a politically charged case that has already sparked debate about when political speech becomes a call for violence. “You’ll never know what I saw in that clinic,” a bearded, unkempt and shackled Dear yelled on Wednesday in one of more than a dozen outbursts as King successfully argued for the gag order by contending that public discussion of the investigation could prejudice potential jurors. “Atrocities.

King appeared to be trying to follow the same playbook he used in his defense of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, whom he convinced a jury earlier this year to spare from execution on the grounds of his mental illness. But, as Dear was formally charged with 179 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and other crimes that could lead to the death penalty, he was having none of it. “Do you know who this lawyer is?” Dear exclaimed of King. “He’s the lawyer for the Batman shooter. And that’s what they want to do to me.” CHICAGO (AP) — Since dashcam footage showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times was made public, city officials have released a series of videos showing police encounters with the public. Two days before Thanksgiving, after being ordered to do so by a judge, the city released a video that shows Officer Jason Van Dyke firing 16 shots into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on the night of Oct. 20, 2014. WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen’s chairman says the company will start road testing all its vehicles’ emissions, with the results to be verified by a third party, to avoid a repeat of its scandal.

The murder video was widely circulated, but rather than condemn the brutality, many Hondurans defended Paredes as a national hero for standing up to corruption. Paredes justified the killing by saying Montes had defended politicians accused of embezzling money from the country’s social security system in which an estimated $400 million assigned for hospitals and medications simply disappeared. For months, tens of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets to demonstrate against official corruption, and especially the social security scandal, which has left thousands of people without access to medical care in a country with an already limited health care.

Scientists generally agree seas will rise an average of 1 meter (3 feet) this century, though some predict an eventual increase as high as 6 meters on average. How quickly these changes occur will partly depend on whether negotiators at this week’s U.N. climate talks in Paris can broker a strong treaty to limit the release of climate-warming greenhouse gases.

But with a certain amount of sea rise considered inevitable as warmer temperatures melt glaciers and expand oceans, cities will have to adapt quickly to spare investors losses and citizens from disaster. Those unprepared risk being highlighted as poor places to invest. “It’s difficult for businesses and societies to grasp what’s happening,” said Richard Hewston, a climate change analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, which advises companies on business risks.

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