Enrique Marquez Jr., a longtime friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male killer in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, was charged Thursday with conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to commit crimes of terrorism. Marquez was also charged with the unlawful purchase of two assault rifles used in the deadly shooting two weeks ago.
A three-count criminal complaint filed Thursday afternoon additionally charges Marquez with defrauding immigration authorities by entering into a sham marriage with a member of Farook’s family.
Marquez, a 24-year-old Riverside, California, resident, was arrested Thursday by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The criminal complaint filed in U. S. District Court charges Marquez 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.
The affidavit in support of the complaint provides details into parts of the exhaustive and ongoing investigation into the attack on Dec. 2 that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center. The complaint does not allege that Marquez was involved in the Dec. 2 terrorist attack. The complaint does allege that Marquez purchased the AR-15-style rifles used in the shooting, that Marquez purchased explosive material ultimately used to construct a pipe bomb found at the regional center, and that in 2011 and 2012 Marquez and Farook planned terrorist attacks that were not carried out.
According to the affidavit, in approximately 2005, Marquez moved to Riverside, where he met Farook, who was his next-door neighbor. After their initial meeting, Farook introduced Marquez to Islam, and, in 2007, Marquez converted to Islam. Farook later introduced Marquez to radical Islamic ideology, which included expressing disdain towards Muslims in the U.S. military who killed other Muslims, as well as discussing the extremist views of the now-deceased imam and Islamic lecturer Anwar al-Aulaqi.
Over the next few years, Farook provided Marquez with radical Islamic materials, and by 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook’s residence listening to lectures and watching videos involving radical Islamic content, according to the affidavit. Those materials included Inspire Magazine, the official publication of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and videos produced by Al-Shabaab.
In late 2011, according to the affidavit, Marquez and Farook started planning to use firearms and explosives to carry out terrorist acts, attacks that Marquez told investigators were designed to maximize the number of casualties that could be inflicted. The affidavit recounts a recent interview with Marquez in which he admitted making plans with Farook to attack the library or cafeteria at Riverside Community College, where both men had been students. The plan was to throw pipe bombs into the cafeteria area from an elevated position on the second floor, and then to shoot people as they fled.
Marquez and Farook also planned to attack eastbound lanes of State Route 91 during afternoon rush hour, the affidavit states. Marquez told investigators that they chose a particular section of the freeway because there were no exits, which would increase the number of targets in the eastbound lanes.
According to the affidavit, Marquez and Farook took steps to carry out their plans by purchasing firearms, ammunition and other tactical gear, as well as going to local firing ranges.
Around the same time as he purchased the firearms for Farook, Marquez purchased explosives, specifically smokeless powder, “in furtherance of his and Farook’s plans to create bombs and commit mass killings,” according to the affidavit.
Four days after the attack on the regional center, Marquez met with law enforcement officials investigating the incident. Marquez admitted a series of statements that are detailed in the affidavit.
In addition to the charges related to the straw purchase of the rifles and the plans to commit terrorist attacks, Marquez is charged with defrauding U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in relation to a sham marriage with a member of Farook’s extended family so that she could obtain legal status in the United States. In return for his participation in the fraud, she paid Marquez $200 per month.