Sunday 25 September 2016

No bail for man who bought assault rifles used in San Bernardino massacre

Published 22/12/2015 | 06:37

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook shown at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago last year (US Customs and Border Protection/AP)
Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook shown at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago last year (US Customs and Border Protection/AP)
CARNAGE: Forensics at the scene of the San Bernardino, California shooting, where 14 people were shot dead
The remains of a SUV involved in the attack is shown in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015

The man authorities say bought the assault rifles two other people used in the California massacre has been ordered held in custody while he faces terrorism-related charges.

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US Magistrate Judge David Bristow ruled that Enrique Marquez poses a continuing danger to the community. His family had sought to put up 100,000 dollars in equity on their home for bail.

Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farook died in a fierce gun battle with authorities hours after their deadly attack in San Bernardino (FBI/California Department of Motor Vehicles/AP)
Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Farook died in a fierce gun battle with authorities hours after their deadly attack in San Bernardino (FBI/California Department of Motor Vehicles/AP)

Marquez is charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists for abandoned plots in 2011 and 2012.

He is also charged with illegally buying the rifles the shooters used in the attack in San Bernardino, and visa fraud stemming from his marriage to a Russian woman that prosecutors say was a sham.

Tashfeen Malik
Tashfeen Malik

Marquez, 24, appeared in federal court, about 10 miles from the scene of the attack carried out by long-time friend Syed Farook and Farook's wife Tashfeen Malik.

"The defendant actively conspired with the decedent Mr Farook for purposes of participating in a terrorist act in this nation," Mr Bristow said, adding that Marquez got two weapons under false pretences and obtained smokeless powder that Farook used to create improvised explosive devices.

"The grave threat presented to the community by that conspiracy was demonstrated on December 2 when Mr Farook and his wife committed a terrorist act on the Inland Regional Centre. He continues to present that danger to the community."

But the judge found that Marquez did not pose a flight risk because he has spent his life in southern California, has no criminal history and his family was willing to put up equity.

The charges over planned attacks in 2011 and 2012 stem from a plot Marquez had with Farook to use pipe bombs and guns to kill people at the college they attended and those stuck in rush-hour traffic on a California freeway, prosecutors said in court documents. The plots fizzled out.

Marquez faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

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