Federal authorities are set to file criminal charges on Thursday against a man who investigators say supplied guns to the married couple who killed 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, earlier this month, according to reports.
Enrique Marquez, a friend and former neighbor of radicalized Muslim Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the Dec. 2 attack with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, is due to be charged later on Thursday, CNN and NBC reported, citing unnamed law enforcement officials.
In the past several days U.S. authorities have been preparing federal firearms charges against Marquez and perhaps state charges as well, a U.S. government source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Marquez, 24, who had checked himself into a Los Angeles-area psychiatric facility shortly after the shootings, had several connections to Farook and Malik and quickly became a key figure in the investigation of the shootings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his home and questioned him for several days.
During the investigation, a law enforcement source said Marquez, who had converted to Islam, and Farook apparently had plotted some sort of attack around 2012 but abandoned the idea.
Tashfeen Malik, (L), and Syed Farook are pictured passing through Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in this July 27, 2014 handout photo obtained by Reuters December 8, 2015. Photo: Reuters/US Customs and Border Protection/Handout via Reuters
Marquez legally purchased the two AR-15 assault-style rifles that Farook and Malik used in their attack on a holiday party of Farook's co-workers before they were killed in a shootout with police a few hours later.
Marquez, who had worked at Walmart and at a bar recently, also is related to Farook's family by marriage. His wife and the wife of Farook's older brother are sisters.
The attack, which left 21 people wounded, has stirred concerns among Americans about national security and the reach of Islamic State, becoming an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. The attack came a few weeks after gunmen and suicide bombers affiliated with Islamic State, which has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq, killed 130 in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris.
FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said there was no evidence that the San Bernardino attackers, who were also inspired by Islamic State, had been part of a terrorist cell.
Farook and Malik were buried on Tuesday following a quiet, graveside Islamic ceremony guarded by FBI agents. Many fellow members of the mosque where they had worshipped refused to attend the service, two mosque members said.
President Barack Obama is due to travel to San Bernardino on Friday to meet privately with victims' families.