SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Enrique Marquez, the former neighbor and friend of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, has been charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, the unlawful purchase of two assault rifles and defrauding immigration authorities.
Marquez, 24, purchased two of the assault-style rifles used by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. FBI officials believe Farook asked Marquez to buy the two weapons in late 2011 or early 2012.
According to FBI investigators, Marquez purchased a Smith and Wesson M&P-15 Sport rifle for Farook on Nov. 14, 2011. On Feb. 22, 2012, Marquez also purchased a DPMS model A-15 rifle. Both cost about $750.
Around the same time as the gun purchases, Marquez is also said to have bought explosives, specifically smokeless powder that would be used to construct a device.
In a Facebook posting from Marquez’s profile just hours after the Dec. 2 attack, he said, “I’m. Very sorry sguys. It was a pleasure.”
Fourteen people were killed and 22 others were injured when the couple opened fire during a holiday luncheon at the Inland Regional Center.
Plotting terror attacks in 2011, 2012
In the days following the shooting, the FBI raided Marquez’s family home in Riverside.
Marquez, who had checked himself into a mental health facility, had voluntarily been in FBI custody for several days. He told FBI investigators that he and Farook plotted a terror attack in 2011 and 2012, but shelved the plans after four people were arrested and charged in a plot to commit jihad against U.S. military bases overseas, according to ABC News.
FBI authorities arrested Marquez Thursday morning,who was then charged with a three-count criminal complaint filed by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
He was charged with one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists for his role in plotting the 2011 and 2012 attacks with Farook. The material support includes personnel, firearms and explosives, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Duo allegedly planned attack at Riverside Community College
In late 2011, Marquez told investigators that he and Farook started planning to use guns and explosives to carry out attacks that would maximize the number of casualties.
One of those plans involved attacking the library or cafeteria at Riverside Community College, where both men were students at the time.
The suspected plan laid out the pair throwing pipe bombs into the cafeteria area from an elevated position on the second floor and then shooting people as they fled the scene.
Marquez, Farook allegedly planned out attack on SR-91
According to the complaint against Marquez, he and Farook planned to attack the eastbound lanes of State Route 91 during afternoon rush hour. During questioning, Marquez told FBI investigators that they chose a particular section of the freeway that had no exits as a way to increase the number of targets.
The plan involved Farook to throw pipe bombs on the freeway, which they believed would disable cars and halt traffic. Farook would then move through the stopped cars and shoot into them while Marquez shot into the cars from a nearby hillside, watching out for law enforcement officers that he would shoot.
The pair had purchased firearms, ammunition and other tactical gear, as well as practiced at local firing ranges in preparation for the attack.
Marquez is also charged with unlawfully purchasing the two rifles that were used in the deadly attack, as well as defrauding immigration authorities by entering into a sham marriage with a Russian woman who was the sister to Farook’s brother’s wife. According to the affidavit, the woman paid Marquez $200 a month.
Each count against Marquez carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison. If convicted, any potential sentence will be determined by the court after reviewing the factors of the case, Marquez’s prior criminal history and his role in the possible convictions.
Farook, Malik buried, family attorney confirms
Family attorney Mohammad Abuershaid confirmed Thursday that Farook and Malik were buried on Tuesday in a quiet graveside funeral. That funeral followed Islamic rituals. The location of the cemetery has not been released.
According to a funeral attendee, it took a week to find a graveyard willing to accept the bodies.
FBI Director James Comey said Farook and Malik were both radicalized before they met online and started dating. Comey said they were talking about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and started living together, which means they were radicalized as early as the end of 2013.
President Barack Obama will visit San Bernardino on Friday to meet privately with the families of the shooting victims. The president will not make a public appearance, instead choosing to keep his meeting with the victims and the families private.
It was also announced on Wednesday that the IRC will reopen on Jan. 4, 2016. But officials said the conference center where the terrorist attack took place will be closed indefinitely.