San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook allegedly introduced his gun supplier to radical Islam, according to federal officials.
Enrique Marquez, 24, was arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to carry out two separate terrorist attacks with Farook in 2011 and 2012, the Department of Justice said in a statement. Marquez provided the semi-automatic rifles that Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, used to carry out the San Bernardino earlier this month.
Marquez met Farook in 2005, when the two were living next door to one another, according to the DoJ complaint. Farook introduced Marquez to Islam at age 16, and the two shortly thereafter began spending most of their days ingratiated in radical Islamic music and reading material and videos, including al-Qaida bomb making tutorials.
Marquez attended many of the same mosques as Farook and Malik, and became very close to the family over the years, so much so that he eventually married a relative of Farook’s brother. Apparently it was a marriage of convenience, and a sham in order to get the woman in question American citizenship.
Marquez is not being charged in connection with the San Bernardino attack, but for plans he and Farook allegedly made to commit two earlier terror attacks, before Farook met Malik. So Marquez is allegedly the unknown individual Farook had plotted with three years ago.
He and Farook allegedly made several plans to engage in terror attacks. The two engaged in a methodical process when choosing their targets. One plan involved massacring students at Riverside Community College in 2011, where Marquez and Farook had attended. They planned to attack the college cafeteria with pipe bombs, then fire on students as they attempted to flee the explosions.
The second plot was decidedly more ambitious. The pair scouted out a busy highway, planning to halt traffic by throwing pipe bombs onto the street. As the drivers stopped, Farook had planned to open fire on them, while Marquez would take up position on an overlooking hill in order to snipe police.
Marquez bought two semi-automatic rifles while he and Farook planned their attacks. Marquez reportedly agreed to buy them because, “Farook looked Middle Eastern.” Those rifles were the weapons Farook and Malik used in the San Bernardino attack.
Marquez reporte called 9-11 regarding the attack saying: “My neighbor. He did the San Bernardino shooting … The fucking asshole used my gun in the shooting.”
The radicalization connections between Farook, Malik and Marquez are diverse and widespread. Farook and Malik may have communicated with an American al-Shabaab member, as well as following the teachings of American jihadi Anwar al-Awlaki.
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