A federal judge has determined that the life insurance proceeds resulting from the death of San Bernardino Islamic terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook can be seized by the U.S. government.
Farook had taken out a life insurance policy around the time he was planning Islamic terror attacks with friend and Muslim convert Enrique Marquez. Farook and Marquez never carried out their early terror plans, but Marquez now stands charged with providing a weapon to Farook that was used in the December 2, 2015 attack that took the lives of 14 and wounded 22 more. Marquez and his wife have also been charged with marriage fraud, as has Farook’s brother and his wife.
Farook carried out the December attack with his wife, Tashfeen Malik. Malik had come to the U.S. not long before on a K-1 financée visa. It has been unclear from missing visa documentation whether the two ever met in person before Malik came to the U.S., though they may have met in Saudi Arabia.
In May, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil asset forfeiture lawsuit in an effort to block the disbursement to Farook’s family of the $275,000 payout from two life insurance policies. Farook’s mother Rafia was named as the primary beneficiary, according to court documents. One policy was taken out in 2012 for $25,000 and a second was taken out in 2013 for $250,000, according to the DOJ, which was seeking to seize the funds.
Court filings on the basis for the seizure cited Farook and Marquez’s early Islamic terror plans, which began in 2011. Documents also detailed Farook’s discussions of 9/11 linked Islamic terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki (listed in the documents as al-Aulaqi) and alleges that Farook and Marquez were “inspired by the acts of Muslim Army Major Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 people and injured more than 30 at Fort Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009.”
Survivors and families of victims could receive the proceeds. As of August 9, the funds had been “deposited with the court clerk, where it will be held until further orders,” according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal determined in his August 5 ruling that there is still a 35-to-60 day window for an appeal. In a separate June federal lawsuit, Minnesota Life claimed that Rafia Farook had knowledge of her son’s impending attack and that the company should not have to pay out the funds to her.
Farook had attended the Dar al Uloom al Islamiyah mosque in San Bernardino, which has been tied to the fundamentalist Tablighi Jamaat sect of Islam, which has been referred to as the “Army of Darkness.” When asked about a wider FBI investigation into other mosque members, representatives of the mosque repeatedly refused to answer.
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