‘California Jihadists’ Apparently Connected

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — Court documents appear to link the only man arrested in connection with the San Bernardino terrorist murders with four Inland Empire men charged in 2012 with conspiring to support al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
     Enrique Marquez was charged this year with providing material support to his friend Syed Farook by helping him obtain assault rifles and a bottle of explosive powder.
     Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people and wounded 22 at a Dec. 2 holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. They were killed in a gunfight with law enforcement.
     Details of Marquez’s alleged ties to “California jihadists” are sparsely detailed in a forfeiture complaint for $275,000 in life insurance proceeds from two policies Farook obtained while he worked for the county health department.
     Marquez “distanced himself from Farook” after the group’s members were arrested in 2012, according to the forfeiture complaint.
     A federal jury in 2014 convicted Sohiel Omar Kabir, 36, an Afghan who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and Ralph Deleon, 25, a Filipino who was living in the United States on a green card, of conspiring to supply material support to al-Qaida. They were each sentenced to 25 years in prison.
     Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Kabir radicalized Deleon and another man, Santana Vidriales, who was indicted in 2012.
     Kabir left the United States toward the end of 2011 and arrived in Afghanistan in the summer of 2012. He allegedly asked Santana and Deleon to travel to Afghanistan, where Kabir said he had made contact with members of al-Qaida and the Taliban.
     During a meeting with Deleon and Santana in February 2012, an FBI informant reported that the men talked about their radical Islamic views. In the spring of that year, Deleon told the source he planned to leave the United States to perform violent jihad.
     FBI agents arrested Deleon, Santana and Gojali on Nov. 16, 2012 after they left their Chino apartment to drive to Mexico. From there they planned to fly to Afghanistan. The U.S. military arrested Kabir in Afghanistan.
     Santana and Gojali pleaded guilty and were sentenced respectively to 10 and 5 years in federal prison.

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