The affidavit filed against Enrique Marquez – who was arrested this week in connection to the December 2 jihadist attack in San Bernardino, California – reveals a man who had long been indoctrinated by radical jihadi sentiments.
The 36-page criminal complaint also goes into detail about the background of Syed Farook, who along with Tashfeen Malik, slaughtered fourteen people and wounded many more.
For many years, Farook had been frequently viewing Islamic extremist materials. On several occasions, he and Marquez expressed a willingness to join terrorist organizations, far before the emergence of the Islamic State.
The affidavit says the two men had long planned to attack a community college they both attended. They attended firing ranges in preparation for their jihad, and bought many weapons and materials in the process, but it remains unclear why they ultimately decided to back down from the plan.
Marquez converted to Islam in 2007 and, shortly thereafter, became hooked with the propaganda of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born, radical Islamic preacher who after 9/11 escaped the country and became a leader in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
“In 2010, Marquez listened to’The Hereafter,’ which is a series of lectures by [Al-Awlaki],” the complaint added. “In early 2011, Marquez continued to listen to additional lectures and materials by [Al-Awlaki].”
Awlaki is credited with the creation of Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine, which was read by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Awlaki also had direct contact with the Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hassan.
Farook “introduced Marquez to radical Islamic ideology,” according to the affidavit. In August, 2011, he then told Marquez of his plans to join AQAP, according to file.
But just a month later, the Al Qaeda propaganda mastermind was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen.
The two then changed strategy, discussing how to initiate attacks inside of the United States that would “maximize the number of casualties that could be inflicted,” according to the complaint.
The full affidavit paints a clear picture of Farook and Marquez as jihadi enthusiasts. They were not “radicalized” overnight, but instead, were drawn to the caliphatist groups that span the globe.