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Man linked to terror attack in California goes on trial

February 23, 2016 - UNITED STATES

Enrique Marquez, the man accused of supplying the two assault rifles used by husband and wife, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik to kill 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in December, goes on trial in federal court in the same city. The attack convulsed the country and has been taken up in the presidential election campaigns as a national security issue.

Marquez faces five charges including conspiracy to support terrorism. He has pleaded not guilty.

The couple used the rifles to kill 14 people on Dec 2 at the Inland Regional Center. Both attackers were killed in a shootout with police. Farook and Malik appear to exemplify a brand of "homegrown" or "self-radicalized" terrorist, according to the Los Angeles Times. Republican presidential candidates describe the attack as a evidence of a new world war.

If convicted of all charges, Marquez faces up to 50 years in prison, according to newswires.

Marquez was Farook and Malik's neighbour and friend, and the conspiracy charge stems from investigations dating back five years. He is accused of providing material support -- such as weapons and explosives -- to terrorists in 2011 and 2012, though no attacks were carried out using them.

Enrique Marquez Pleads Not Guilty in San Bernardino Massacre Case (NYT 6 Jan 2016)

Enrique Marquez Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Terrorism Charges (NPR 6 Jan 2016)

After San Bernardino Attack, Republican Candidates Talk 'War' (NYT 6 Dec 2016)

Date written/update: 2016-01-13