Guilty Plea In San Bernardino Case

This news story probably won’t get as much attention as it deserves, but it is interesting on several levels: “Man to plead guilty to aiding San Bernardino attack.”

Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, of Riverside, admitted in a plea agreement that he bought the assault rifles [sic] used by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in the Dec. 2, 2015, attack at a public health agency gathering that left 14 people dead and injured nearly two dozen others. Farook and Malik were later killed in a gunfight with authorities.
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Prosecutors said Marquez acknowledged being a “straw buyer” when he purchased two AR-15 rifles from a sporting goods store that were used in the attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Prosecutors have said Marquez agreed to buy the weapons because the attackers feared Farook’s Middle Eastern appearance might arouse suspicion. Prosecutors said there is no evidence Marquez participated in the San Bernardino massacre or had advance knowledge of it.

But Marquez was no innocent, and obviously knew why the Farooks wanted the rifles:

Marquez also admitted to plotting with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to massacre college students and gun down motorists on a gridlocked California freeway, though those attacks never occurred.

Federal officials said the duo had envisioned halting traffic on state Route 91 with explosives and then firing at trapped motorists, or tossing pipe bombs into a crowded cafeteria at Riverside City College.

Nice. Marquez backed out of those plots when four men in the same area were arrested on terrorism charges in 2012.

The obvious question is, why did Marquez do it?

Marquez and Farook first met in 2005 after Marquez moved next door to Farook’s family in Riverside, about 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, officials said. The then-teens would meet in Farook’s garage and Farook, a Muslim, began educating his new friend about his religion. Marquez converted and became a Muslim in 2007.

The FBI said the two began discussing extremist views shortly after Marquez converted. By late 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook’s home, where he read Inspire magazine, an official publication of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula; watched videos produced by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Somalia; and studied radical material online, federal officials said.

Rizwan Farook was an American citizen, born in Chicago. His wife, Tashfeen Malik, was an immigrant from Pakistan. I haven’t seen any information on Marquez’s citizenship, but he moved to Riverside in 2005 and subsequently committed immigration fraud by entering into a sham marriage with a member of Farook’s family. There is a lot of “diversity” here, but also a common denominator: Islam.

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