Friend of San Bernardino shooter indicted on terror charges

Law enforcement officers look over the evidence near the remains of a SUV involved in the Wednesdays attack is shown in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015. © Mario Anzuoni
Enrique Marquez Jr., a longtime friend of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, has been indicted on terrorism charges by a federal grand jury. He was arrested in mid-December over accusations of conspiring with a terrorist.

Marquez, 24, has been charged with conspiring with Farook and planning terror attacks in 2011 and 2012.

According to the investigation, in 2011 Marquez and Farook planned to carry out a pipe bomb and shooting attack at Riverside College, where they were both students. The attack was never carried out.

On December 2, Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire at the Inland Resource Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and injuring 21.

Marquez has been charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and the unlawful purchase of two assault rifles that were used by Farook and Malik during their attack.

The FBI believes he bought explosive material that was later found in a pipe bomb recovered at the scene of the San Bernardino attack.

Additionally, he was charged with defrauding immigration authorities by entering into a sham marriage with a member of Farook’s family.

“This indictment demonstrates that we will hold accountable all individuals who collaborate with terrorists in executing their plans,” US Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement.

Marquez is being held without bail. All of the charges against him combined carry up to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.

“Defendant Marquez’s extensive plotting with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012, and his purchase of explosive powder and two firearms, provided the foundation for the murders that occurred this month,” Decker said.

He is scheduled to appear in court on January 6.

Marquez and Farook had been friends since 2005, when the defendant moved to Riverside, California. Soon into their friendship, Farook introduced Marquez to Islam, according to the investigation. The latter then converted and was further exposed to radical ideology, including the Inspire magazine published by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the immediate aftermath of the San Bernardino massacre, Marquez checked into a mental health facility and was cooperating with the investigation.

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