SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., June 1 (UPI) — Federal prosecutors say an accused accomplice of one of the San Bernardino attackers was tied to another group of domestic militants arrested four years ago for trying to join al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
Enrique Marquez, Jr., who has been charged with plotting other terror attacks in Southern California with San Bernardino suspect Syed Farook, was linked to the group of men in 2012 — around the same time he was allegedly plotting the other attacks with Farook.
The link comes after the FBI said in December that there was no evidence of ties between the San Bernardino suspects and the other four men.
Marquez, 24, was arrested in December and charged with conspiracy for allegedly plotting other attacks with Farook in 2011 and 2012. Officials said Marquez was the one who purchased the assault rifles used in the Dec. 2 attack, which investigators say Marquez did not have advance knowledge of.
The newly-established connection between Marquez and the other group was mentioned in a legal request this week involved in the Farook family’s attempt to collect $275,000 in life insurance money.
The U.S. Attorney’s office filed the request Tuesday to seize the money.
“Marquez had ties to a group of jihadists (‘California jihadists’) who were arrested in 2012 when they attempted to travel to Afghanistan to join al-Qaida,” the document says.
Marquez was indicted for conspiracy in December, just weeks after the attack that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Farook and his Pakistani wife, Tasheen Malik, were killed in a subsequent shootout with police.
Video: CBS Evening News – Dec. 17, 2015