San Bernardino Shooter's Friend Enrique Marquez Charged with Aiding Terror Plot
Enrique Marquez Jr., the friend and former next-door neighbor of terrorist Syed Farook, was arrested Thursday by federal agents and charged with conspiring to aid terrorists.
Marquez, 24, bought two assault rifles that were used by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in the Dec. 2 terror attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. Fourteen people were shot to death by the couple, who died afterwards in a shootout with law enforcement officers.
The three-count criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The document alleges that Marquez plotted to provide personnel, explosives and firearms for terrorism and that he make false statements to buy firearms.
He also committed immigration fraud, the complaint alleges.
Marquez was not alleged to have knowledge of the San Bernardino attack.
But he did plan attacks with Farook, and to use guns and explosives in those assaults, the complaint says. The pair discussed attacking Riverside City College, and the Riverside Freeway, a well-traveled highway linking the area to Los Angeles.
“Mr. Marquez conspired with Mr. Farook to commit vicious attacks,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker. “Even those these plans were not carried out, Mr. Marquez’s criminal conduct deeply affected San Bernardino … and the entire United States when the guns purchased by Marquez were used to kill 14 innocent people and wound many others.”
The complaint also says that Marquez posted Facebook messages about a month before the San Bernardino shootings saying “I lead multiple lives.”
He also declares he is “involved in terrorist plots, drugs, antisocial behavior, marriage, might go to prison for fraud, etc.”
The day after the massacre, Marquez phoned 911 and said he was suicidal, the complaint alleges.
According to a recording of the call, the complaint says, a dispatcher asks Marquez, “What’s wrong? Why do you feel like you want to kill yourself? What’s going on?”
Marquez: “I don’t know. My neighbor. He did the San Bernardino shooting.
911: “Your neighbor did what?”
Marquez: “He did the San Bernardino shooting.”
Later, Marquez tells the operator, “The f---ing asshole used my gun in the shooting.” Farook was storing his weapons for him, Marquez told the dispatcher.
Later that day, he was placed under a psychiatric hold at Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he had sought help in the emergency room, the complaint says.
FBI agents, who were already interviewing Marquez’s family at that time, talked with medical staff. Continued meetings with relatives and Marquez himself led to Thursday’s arrest the complaint says.
Marquez is being held without bail. It was not clear if he had retained an attorney.