Enrique Marquez Jr.

Enrique Marquez Jr. is a homegrown conspirator from California who, in 2011 and 2012, allegedly planned numerous terror attacks alongside San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Marquez pled guilty to purchasing and supplying the firearms used by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in the December 2, 2015, ISIS-inspired attack that killed 14 people.“United States of America v. Enrique Marquez, Jr.,” United States District Court for the Central District of California, December 17, 2015, 3-8, https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/world/read-the-criminal-complaint-against-enrique-marquez-the-friend-who-provided-rifles-in-the-san-bernardino-shooting/1917/; Cristina Silva, “Who Is Enrique Marquez? In San Bernardino, Syed Farook Neighbor Faces Criminal Charges For Assault Rifle Purchase,” International Business Times, December 17, 2015, http://www.ibtimes.com/who-enrique-marquez-san-bernardino-syed-farook-neighbor-faces-criminal-charges-2230179; “Enrique Marquez Jr. Agrees to Plead Guilty to Plotting Violent Attacks and Buying Firearms for Shooter in San Bernardino Terrorist Attack,” U.S. Department of Justice, February 14, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/enrique-marquez-jr-agrees-plead-guilty-plotting-violent-attacks-and-buying-firearms. Marquez is in U.S. custody awaiting sentencing.Brian Rokos, “Sentencing for Riverside man who aided San Bernardino shooter is postponed,” Press-Enterprise, November 2, 2017, http://www.pe.com/2017/11/02/sentencing-for-riverside-man-who-aided-san-bernardino-shooter-is-postponed/.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a criminal complaint against Marquez on December 17, 2015, two weeks after the San Bernardino attack. He was charged on three counts: conspiring to provide material support to Farook in 2011 and 2012; making a false statement regarding his purchase of firearms; and immigration fraud.“California Man Charged with Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Terrorism and Being ‘Straw Purchaser’ of Assault Rifles Ultimately Used in San Bernardino, California, Attack,” U.S. Department of Justice, December 17, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/california-man-charged-conspiring-provide-material-support-terrorism-and-being-straw. The U.S. Department of Justice issued an indictment against Marquez on December 30, 2015. The indictment included two new charges: the use of fire or explosives to maliciously destroy an institution receiving Federal funds, as well as the use of fire or explosives to maliciously destroy property used in interstate or foreign commerce.“United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Enrique Marquez, Jr., Defendant,” United States District Court for the Central District of California, September 30, 2015, http://documents.latimes.com/indictment-against-enrique-marquez-jr/.

As a teenager, Marquez moved to Riverside, California, south of San Bernardino. There he met Farook, his next-door neighbor.“California Man Charged with Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Terrorism and Being ‘Straw Purchaser’ of Assault Rifles Ultimately Used in San Bernardino, California, Attack,” U.S. Department of Justice, December 17, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/california-man-charged-conspiring-provide-material-support-terrorism-and-being-straw. Farook introduced Marquez to Islam in 2005, and Marquez converted in 2007. Shortly after Marquez’s conversion, Farook began to indoctrinate Marquez to radical Islamic ideology. By 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook’s residence, absorbing radical Islamic content including lectures by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, and the group’s English-language magazine Inspire.“United States of America v. Enrique Marquez, Jr.,” United States District Court for the Central District of California, December 17, 2015, 3-8, https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/world/read-the-criminal-complaint-against-enrique-marquez-the-friend-who-provided-rifles-in-the-san-bernardino-shooting/1917/. He also read the Defense of Muslim Lands by Abdullah Azzam and watched videos produced by al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate al-Shabab.“United States of America v. Enrique Marquez, Jr.,” United States District Court for the Central District of California, December 17, 2015, 7-8, 19, https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/world/read-the-criminal-complaint-against-enrique-marquez-the-friend-who-provided-rifles-in-the-san-bernardino-shooting/1917/.

In 2011, Marquez and Farook conspired to attack the campus of Riverside City College, where they had both been students. The pair discussed attacking the library and cafeteria on the campus in an attempt to maximize casualties. They also planned to unleash pipe bombs on the State Route 91 Freeway near Los Angeles. According to the criminal complaint, Marquez and Farook planned to bomb an area of the Freeway that lacked exits. Farook would then move among the stalled traffic and shoot people in their cars, and Marquez planned to shoot approaching law enforcement personnel. Marquez purchased firearms, ammunition, and tactical gear, and he and Farook practiced shooting at firing ranges. In 2012, Marquez purchased smokeless powder to be used in an explosive. Marquez later admitted to law enforcement that he and Farook had read the bomb-making instructions in AQAP’s Inspire.“United States of America v. Enrique Marquez, Jr.,” United States District Court for the Central District of California, December 17, 2015, 3, 25, https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/world/read-the-criminal-complaint-against-enrique-marquez-the-friend-who-provided-rifles-in-the-san-bernardino-shooting/1917/.

In November 2014, Marquez entered into a sham marriage with Russian national Mariya Chernykh, whose sister was married to Farook’s older brother, Syed Raheel Farook. Marquez was reportedly paid $200 per month for the marriage.“United States of America v. Enrique Marquez, Jr.,” United States District Court for the Central District of California, December 17, 2015, 4, https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/world/read-the-criminal-complaint-against-enrique-marquez-the-friend-who-provided-rifles-in-the-san-bernardino-shooting/1917/; Richard Winton and James Queally, “Enrique Marquez Jr. faces more charges in San Bernardino terrorist attack,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-marquez-faces-more-charges-in-san-bernardino-terrorist-attack-20151230-story.html. Chernykh was arrested in late April 2016 on charges of marriage fraud.“Three relatives of San Bernardino shooter arrested,” Fox News, April 28, 2016, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/04/28/3-arrested-in-relation-to-san-bernardino-probe.html. On January 26, 2017, Chernykh pled guilty to federal immigration fraud charges and admitted entering into a sham marriage with Marquez.“‘Wife’ of Man Facing Charges of Conspiring with Shooter in San Bernardino Attack Pleads Guilty to Entering into Sham Marriage,” U.S. Department of Justice, January 26, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/wife-man-facing-charges-conspiring-shooter-san-bernardino-attack-pleads-guilty-entering. On January 10, 2017, Syed Raheel Farook pled guilty to one count of conspiracy. His wife, Tatiana, pled guilty on February 9, 2017, to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.Brian Rokos, “Sentencings for couple related to Dec. 2, 2015, San Bernardino shooter are postponed,” Press-Enterprise, November 10, 2017, http://www.pe.com/2017/11/10/sentencings-for-couple-related-to-dec-2-2015-san-bernardino-shooter-are-postponed/; “Sister-in-Law of Shooter in San Bernardino Attack Pleads Guilty to Federal Conspiracy Charge in Immigration Fraud Case,” U.S. Department of Justice, February 9, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/sister-law-shooter-san-bernardino-attack-pleads-guilty-federal-conspiracy-charge.

On the day of the San Bernardino attack, Marquez posted a garbled apology on his Facebook page. He admitted himself to a nearby hospital and was referred to a psychiatric ward.Richard A. Serrano, Paloma Esquival, and Corina Knoll, “Marquez and Farook plotted campus and freeway attacks, prosecutors allege,” Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-bernardino-marquez-20151217-story.html. The day after the attack, Marquez called 911 and told the operator that the attackers had used guns he had purchased. Marquez told the operator that he had given the guns to Farook for “safe storage” because he couldn’t keep them at home because of his brothers.Richard Winton, Richard A. Serrano, Joseph Serna, and Marisa Gerber, “After San Bernardino massacre, suspect Enrique Marquez Jr. made dramatic 911 call,” Los Angeles Times, December 18, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-911-san-bernardino-massacre-20151218-story.html.

On February 14, 2017, Marquez agreed to plead guilty to providing material support and resources to terrorists, including weapons, explosives, and personnel. Marquez admitted to conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to attack Riverside City College and commuter traffic on the 91 Freeway. Further, Marquez admitted to being the “straw buyer” of the two firearms used in the San Bernardino attack and making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. The plea was officially entered two days later.“Enrique Marquez Jr. Agrees to Plead Guilty to Plotting Violent Attacks and Buying Firearms for Shooter in San Bernardino Terrorist Attack,” U.S. Department of Justice, February 14, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/enrique-marquez-jr-agrees-plead-guilty-plotting-violent-attacks-and-buying-firearms; Steve Gorman, “Friend of San Bernardino gunman pleads guilty to conspiracy charges,” Reuters, February 16, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-shooting-plea/friend-of-san-bernardino-gunman-pleads-guilty-to-conspiracy-charges-idUSKBN15W013.

After repeated delays, Marquez is scheduled to be sentenced in February 2018. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.Brian Rokos, “Sentencing for Riverside man who aided San Bernardino shooter is postponed,” Press-Enterprise, November 2, 2017, http://www.pe.com/2017/11/02/sentencing-for-riverside-man-who-aided-san-bernardino-shooter-is-postponed/.

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