Home / National News / New Clues on San Bernardino Terror Attack from Man Who Bought Assault Rifles, Officials Say

 

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — The California man said to have purchased two of the weapons used in the San Bernardino terror attack has provided the FBI with information not previously known to agents, as authorities consider whether others could be charged as accomplices in the mass murder, federal officials told ABC News.

The FBI has been questioning Enrique Marquez, a friend and former neighbor of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, since late Sunday night, according to officials. The two “assault-style” rifles used in last week’s attack were purchased by Marquez about four years ago, officials said. The interrogation of Marquez was delayed by 72 hours after he checked himself into a mental health facility on Friday.

Marquez, 24, and Farook, 29, lived for years in houses next to each other in Riverside, Calif., public records show, and neighbors said the two were close friends. Marquez purchased the rifles back in late 2011 and early 2012, a law enforcement official told ABC News, which was around the same time Farook bought two handguns that were also part of the killers’ arsenal.

Officials previously said it was unclear if Marquez had any role in last week’s tragedy and they were trying to determine how Marquez’s weapons ended up in the hands of Farook and his wife-turned-accomplice Tashfeen Malik. All four weapons were originally purchased legally, authorities said.

When asked Monday about Marquez’s status, FBI Assistant Director in Los Angeles David Bowdich told reporters he was “not prepared to discuss Mr. Marquez at this point.”

Police raided Marquez’s home over the weekend and when ABC News visited the address, reporters found a makeshift sign in the yard said to “keep off” the property. Neighbors who spoke to ABC News said Marquez and Farook were longtime friends, but the relationship appeared to have grown more distant as Farook became more conservative recently.

An individual associated with a local mosque, who asked not to be named, told ABC News Monday that Marquez started coming there three or four years ago, after he had converted to Islam. The person said Marquez was shy and polite, but did not seem that bright. Two members of Farook’s family, but not Syed Farook, attended the same mosque, the person said.

Marquez previously worked at a Wal-Mart, and before that was employed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, federal officials told ABC News.

Fourteen people were killed and another 21 injured when Farook and Malik opened fire at a county officials’ holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Dec. 2. Authorities are still investigating the motives behind the attack, but officials told ABC News and other outlets that Malik had pseudonymously posted a pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook around the time of the attack. ISIS, in turn, later referred to the couple as “supporters,” but did not claim prior knowledge or operational input in the attack.

Allan Lengel, a freelance journalist based in Detroit and reporter for the law enforcement news website TickleTheWire.com, contributed to this report.

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