Developing: Investigation into Enrique Marquez reveals that the childhood friend of terrorist Syed Farook plotted a terrorist attack with Farook in 2012, according to Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, who is on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. At that time, Marquez purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 and a .223-caliber DPMS Model A-15, according to the LA Times, which were used in the deadly attack in San Bernardino, California on Dec. 2, 2015.
Initially thought to have had little or no contact with Farook in recent months, possible charges are pending against Marquez in connection with the massacre on Dec. 2, at the Inland Regional Center where 14 people were murdered and at least 22 others injured.
Early reports about Marquez paint a very different picture of the recent convert to Islam. Friends describe Marquez as “laid back,” and one friend described Marquez as sad about his alleged marriage to Russian born Mariya Chernykh. Other friends reveal that Marquez posted self-pitying remarks on Facebook. The marriage, according to one friend, “…was very weird.”
Another friend remarked that there was no sign of Marquez having a wife and that Marquez lived with his mother only. Reports indicate that Chernykh lived with Oscar Romero and a baby identified as the pair’s daughter. On Russian social media sites, Romero named Chernykh as his wife and Chernykh called herself Maria Romero on those sites.
After the aborted terror attack in 2012, Farook and Marquez appeared to put distance between themselves, at least in public. One friend said that she saw the pair standing on a street one day without acknowledging each other.
A federal government source allegedly revealed to the LA Times that Farook requested Marquez
purchase the rifles used in the Dec. 2 attack because Farook assumed that he (Farook) would not pass a background check.
David Bowdich, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office said that agents are looking into whether Islamic-terror suspects arrested in the area in 2012 were connected to Farook, his wife, Tashfeem Malik, or Marquez. Reports indicate Marquez and Farook aborted plans of an attack 2012 after several terrorist-related arrests.
In the early stages of interviews with 24 year-old Marquez, his relationship to Farook appeared benign, a boyhood friend and neighbor, and later, related by marriage. Chernykh is the sister of Farook’s brother’s wife. Marquez’ image continues to evolve as investigators reveal unusual relationships and behaviors. Marquez checked himself into a local psychiatric hospital hours after the shooting. He posted a cryptic message on Facebook, “I’m. Very sorry sguys. It was a pleasure.”
Another friend who socialized with Marquez within the past few weeks said that Marquez commented, “There’s a lot of Muslims in our own backyard, just ready to go haywire and attack.”
Reporters outside the home where Marquez lived with his mother, Armida Chacon, said that Chacon had not been in contact with her son since the shooting. “I don’t know how this happened—my world is upside-down,” Chacon said.
FBI divers began searching Seccombe Lake Park, two miles from the Inland Regional Center where the deadly attack occurred. Farook and Malik are reported to have visited the park on the day of the attack. Law enforcement officials said they are looking for electronic devices such as a computer hard drive used by the killers.
Questions are surfacing about the initial report of a third shooter in the December 2nd attack. CBS Evening News titled an early report about the shooting: “Officials: 2 of 3 suspects dead in San Bernardino shooting.” Several eye-witnesses to the attack also reported a third shooter.