San Bernardino gun buyer and gunman linked through marriage, previous plot

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The gunman who massacred his co-workers in the San Bernardino rampage and the friend who bought the assault rifles used in the shooting were related through marriage and may have plotted an attack together three years ago.

See Full Article

New revelations from officials and public records show a much deeper connection between Syed Rizwan Farook and Enrique Marquez than previously was disclosed.

Marquez purchased high-powered weapons at least three years ago that Farook and his wife fired when they burst into a holiday-themed meeting of Farook's fellow health inspectors Dec. 2, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others. The FBI has said that Farook's wife declared her allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook posting shortly before the attack began.

Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, were killed hours later in a shootout with police, leaving behind a 6-month-old daughter.

FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the two shooters were radicalized well before Malik came to the U.S. on a fiancée visa and they had discussed jihad and martyrdom as early as 2013.

Investigators are trying to determine if Farook's path toward extremism predated that time and whether it led to plans to launch an attack in 2012, according to two people familiar with the investigation who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Marquez and Farook "were plotting an actual attack" that year, including purchasing weapons, but became apprehensive and shelved the plan because of law enforcement activity and arrests in the area, said Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, a Republican who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Marquez, 24, spoke with federal authorities after they raided his mother's Riverside house over the weekend. He has not been charged with a crime.

Marquez and Farook have been friends for years and became family last year with a sister-in-law in common.

The two men were listed as witnesses on the marriage license when Farook's brother, Raheel, wed a Russian woman in 2011.

Three years later, Raheel Farook and his wife, Tatiana, were witnesses to Marquez's nuptials with her sister, Mariya Chernykh, according to Riverside County records.

The ceremony took place at the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco, according to the marriage license, though the mosque's facility manager denied it occurred there.

Azmi Hasan said Wednesday that he understood Marquez had converted to Islam, but said he was not a member of that mosque. Marquez had only worshipped there three to four times over seven years, said Hasan, who hadn't seen him in about four years.

Marquez had a security guard license in California for several years, but it expired last year. He had worked at Wal-Mart since May, but has since been fired, spokesman Brian Nick said.

He spoke of wanting to join the military, Viviana Ramirez, 23, a fellow student at Riverside Community College told the Los Angeles Times. His brother-in-law, Raheel Farook, is a Navy veteran, serving from 2003 to 2007 and earning the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, among other awards.

Marquez rarely spoke about his family or his marriage, Ramirez said.

Tommy Lopez, who said he became friends with Marquez after meeting at a punk rock show seven months ago, said he never talked about his wife and was not religious.

He last saw Marquez in the past month or so when Marquez fell asleep at a friend's house and they stacked beer cans on his body.

"When he woke up he just started laughing," Lopez said. "He was a pretty laid-back guy."

Right after the shootings, Marquez called his mother to say he was safe, but that he wouldn't be coming home, neighbor Lorena Aguirre said. He later checked into a mental health facility. It's unclear where he is now.

Marquez and Chernykh listed their address on the marriage license at the same Corona home where Raheel and Tatiana Farook live.

The Russian sisters came to the United States on visas for work or study exchange programs, according to a federal official who requested anonymity. The official was familiar with the visas, but not authorized to speak publicly.

The FBI has not tied any Farook family members to the attack.

Comey described Farook and Malik as examples of homegrown violent extremists who appear to have radicalized "in place," drawing a distinction between the San Bernardino attack and the one last month in Paris that officials suspect involved planning and training in Syria. He said the FBI did not yet know if their marriage was arranged by a foreign extremist organization.

Malik's father, reached in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, condemned his daughter's actions and said he is "very, very sad. ... I am in such pain that I cannot even describe it."

The father, Gulzar Ahmed Malik, has been a resident in the kingdom since the early 1980s, the Saudi Interior Ministry says. His daughter was from Pakistan but traveled to Saudi Arabia.

Melley reported from Los Angeles. Contributing to this report were AP reporters Eric Tucker, Alicia A. Caldwell and Tami Abdollah in Washington, Asif Shahzad in Islamabad, Michael R. Blood and Amanda Lee Myers in Los Angeles, and Brian Skoloff in San Bernardino.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Military funeral planned for Air Force pilot killed in training exercise

    Canada News CTV News
    A military funeral for an Air Force pilot killed during a training exercise near the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary is set to take place in Ontario on Wednesday. Capt. Thomas McQueen, 29, was a member of 401 squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake in northeastern Alberta. Source
  • Libyan officials say last buildings seized from ISIS in Sirte

    World News CTV News
    BENGHAZI, Libya -- Libyan officials say that the last buildings occupied by the Islamic State fighters in the group's onetime stronghold of Sirte have fallen. Ahmed Hadiya, the head of the media centre for the anti-IS operation, told The Associated Press: "This is the last major battle, but it is not the end of military operations nor the declaration of liberation. Source
  • Mysterious mummified knees are likely Queen Nefertari’s [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    A pair of mummified knees found in a Egyptian crypt are most likely those of the legendary beautiful Queen Nefertari, scientists now believe. No other body parts of the queen were found in the 3,200-year-old tomb, which had been looted and flooded centuries ago. Source
  • Pence to talk to conservative group at Trump's new DC hotel

    World News CTV News
    Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks to members of the media as he leaves Trump Tower, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, in New York. (Andrew Harnik/AP) Source
  • 'The old model is exhausted': Populism's effect on French politics

    World News CBC News
    If common wisdom about current fury is right, and people across the West want change, they're getting a bellyful of it in France. The last few weeks here have seen dramatic upheaval in the country's political class that, however willed, remains unexpected. Source
  • Man dies after drunk pals toss him outside for snoring

    World News Toronto Sun
    Evidently, snoring can be fatal. A pair of drunken buffoons, ages 28 and 35, in a Paris suburb stripped down another boozing buddy and left him outside their apartment building because his loud snoring was keeping them awake. Source
  • Canadian students among world's most educated in science

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian students are among the world's most educated when it comes to science, according to an annual survey measuring education levels in 72 different countries. Canada tied Finland for fourth overall in the 2015 ranking compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which measured math, science and reading levels in 540,000 randomly-selected 15-year-olds. Source
  • Residents pay tribute to those killed in 1917 Halifax explosion

    Canada News CTV News
    Halifax is marking the 99th anniversary of an event that devastated a large sweep of the coastal city. People gathered at various sites today to pay tribute to thousands of residents who were killed or injured in the Halifax Explosion on Dec. Source
  • Guilty: Father murdered infant son while driving on highway

    World News Toronto Sun
    ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — A man spotted fatally beating his 4-month-old son while driving down a highway has been convicted of murder. The sentencing of 35-year-old Daniel A. Cox of Radcliff is scheduled for Jan. 24. The News-Enterprise reports a Hardin County jury recommended Monday that Cox get life with parole eligibility after 20 years. Source
  • It's not over yet: More snow in the forecast for B.C.'s South Coast

    Canada News CTV News
    Phrases such as freezing temperatures, snowy roads and ice bombs aren’t usually synonymous with B.C.’s South Coast, but they aptly described the wintry blast of weather the region experienced throughout the day on Monday. And it’s not over yet. Source