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Prosecutors who exposed terrorists’ plan in San Bernardino mass shooting honored by Department of Justice

By in Press Enterprise on October 26, 2017

By Brian Rokos

Five assistant U.S. Attorneys and 10 other members of a federal response team were honored by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, Oct. 25, for their roles in investigating the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

The ceremony recognizing 202 Department of Justice employees and 19 others for distinguished public service was held in Washington, D.C., a news release said.

The shooters were killed in a gun battle with police after slaying 14 people and wounding 23 others at a holiday party for San Bernardino County Division of Environmental Health employees at the Inland Regional Center.

The assistant U.S. Attorneys are Patrick R. Fitzgerald, chief of the National Security Division; Christopher D. Grigg, chief of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section; Deirdre Z. Eliot, of the Santa Ana branch office; Melanie A. Hanson, who is based in Los Angeles; and Jay H. Robinson, of the Riverside branch office.

The team identified shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, discovered their allegiance to terrorist organization ISIS and learned of a past plot in which authorities say Farook and friend Enrique Marquez Jr. planned to attack targets in Riverside.

The investigation led to the discovery of an immigration fraud scheme in which Marquez, a U.S. citizen from Riverside, received payments to pretend to marry Mariya Chernykh so the Russian citizen could remain in the U.S.

Tatiana Farook, Chernykh’s sister, was part of the conspiracy. Syed Raheel Farook, who is Tatiana Farook’s husband and Rizwan Farook’s brother, also pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy.

Marquez agreed to a plea deal in which the immigration-fraud charges were dropped. Marquez, who purchased the weapons used in the shooting and supplied bomb-making supplies to Rizwan Farook, is due to be sentenced Nov. 6 for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and making a false […]    

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