Friend of San Bernardino terrorist agrees to plead guilty

Friend of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook agrees to plead guilty to providing him with the rifles used in the attack.

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Ben Ariel,

Site of San Bernardino shooting
Site of San Bernardino shooting
Reuters

A friend of Syed Farook, the shooter who carried out the San Bernardino terror attack in December of 2015, has agreed to plead guilty to providing the high-powered rifles used to kill 14 people and injure nearly two dozen others, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, of Riverside, admitted in a plea agreement that he bought the assault rifles used by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in the December 2, 2015, attack.

Farook and Malik were later killed in a gunfight with authorities. Marquez was the only man to be criminally charged in the shooting.

Marquez also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements when he purchased the firearms used in the attack, according to AP.

Marquez was arrested two weeks after the attack. Police said at the time they believed he purchased the weapons on behalf of Farook, who did not want them traced to him and feared he would not pass a background check.

Shortly after the massacre, the FBI raided Marquez’s Riverside home.

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.

The prosecutors stressed there is no evidence Marquez himself participated in the San Bernardino massacre or had advance knowledge of it.

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.

The FBI said after the massacre that Farook and Malik were both radicalized "for quite some time" and had taken target practice at Los Angeles-area shooting ranges, and once "within days" of the shooting.

It is believed Farook had contact with people from at least two terrorist organizations overseas, and investigators have also said Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) group in a Facebook posting before the shooting attack.

Marquez, who could face up to 25 years in prison, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge on Thursday, according to AP. His attorney didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.