San Bernardino Shooter’s Brother and Two Other Relatives Arrested

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Mass Shooting In San Bernardino
Photo: David Bro/© Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

The brother of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook was arrested Thursday in California. The brother, Syed Raheel Farook; his wife, Tatiana; and his wife’s sister, Mariya Chernykh, were charged with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and lying to investigators, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The charges stem from the alleged sham marriage between Mariya Chernykh and Enrique Marquez, a friend of the San Bernardino gunman, who was charged with providing weapons and material support to Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. Investigators discovered that Marquez had gotten paid to marry Chernykh because she was a Russian citizen and wasn’t in the U.S. legally. Chernykh had allegedly been paying Marquez $200 per month to keep up the ruse. They both claimed they lived together, though Chernykh apparently resided in Ontario. Marquez had already been charged with marriage fraud in the case. 

Authorities allege Raheel Farook and his wife were complicit in the fraud because they told investigators that both Marquez and Chernykh were living together when authorities began questioning them in connection to the San Bernardino attacks. The Farooks allegedly forged a lease to make it seem like the other couple was staying together in their home, and took and posted staged photos of the pair. 

Investigators discovered these irregularities while looking into the December 2015 attack that left 14 people dead at a San Bernardino social-services center, but none are being charged with terrorism-related crimes.