A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted the friend of a gunman who along with his wife opened fire on a crowd at a California conference center earlier this month, killing 14 people, prosecutors said.
Enrique Marquez Jr., 24, was charged with conspiring with Syed Farook to plan terror attacks in 2011 and 2012, years before Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire at the Inland Resource Center in San Bernardinoon Dec.2.
Farook and Malik were killed in a shootout with police hours after the massacre. Prosecutors have said there is no evidence Marquez knew about the San Bernardino attack, but Marquez is accused of buying two of the guns that were used in the shooting rampage.
Investigators are treating the shooting as an act of terrorism, and have said both Farook and his wife had been radicalized for some time, before they met and were married in Saudi Arabia.
Marquez is charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists; two counts of making a false statement regarding the guns; and one count each of marriage fraud and making false statements in relation to an alleged sham marriage to a distant relative of Farook’s.
“This indictment demonstrates that we will hold accountable all individuals who collaborate with terrorists in executing their plans,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement.
“Defendant Marquez’s extensive plotting with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012, and his purchase of explosive powder and two firearms, provided the foundation for the murders that occurred this month,” Decker said.
According an affidavit accompanying the charges,, Marquez allegedly planned with Farook in 2011 to carry out a pipe bomb and shooting attack at Riverside College, where they both were students. The attack was never carried out.
The FBI also said in the affidavit that in addition to the weapons, Marquez is believed to have bought explosive material which was then later found in a pipe bomb recovered at the scene of the San Bernardino attack.
Marquez is being held without bail. The charge of providing material assistance to terrorists carries up to 15 years in prison, and the three counts of making false statements carry up to 10 years each, prosecutors said. The count of marriage fraud carries up to five years in prison.