San Bernardino gunman's brother arrested for marriage fraud

The arrests of Syed Raheel Farook, his wife and her sister are not thought to be directly connected to the 2015 terror attack

Tim Walker
Los Angeles
Thursday 28 April 2016 18:25 BST
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Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook shot dead 14 people at an office Christmas gathering in December 2015.
Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook shot dead 14 people at an office Christmas gathering in December 2015. (AP)

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The FBI has arrested three people in the San Bernardino area on charges of marriage fraud, including the older brother of Syed Rizwan Farook, who, with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot dead 14 people at an office Christmas gathering in December 2015.

The arrests took place on Thursday morning as authorities conducted searches in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Farook’s brother, Syed Raheel Farook, was arrested with his Russian wife, Tatiana Chernykh, and her sister Mariya.

Enrique Marquez, a friend of Rizwan Farook who was charged in December with buying firearms used in the attack, was also accused of marriage fraud for receiving money to wed Mariya Chernykh, who, it is alleged, married him only to attain legal status in the US.

An official told the Los Angeles Times that the arrests were not directly connected to the 2 December attack, after which Rizwan Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, were killed in a shootout with police. It is not clear whether the new searches were prompted by data found on Rizwan Farook’s iPhone, which the FBI recently unlocked with the help of an unnamed third party, after Apple resisted a court order to assist in decrypting the device.

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