The Slatest

Older Brother of San Bernardino Shooter Arrested in Alleged Marriage-Fraud Scheme

San Bernardino attackers Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook in a security photo taken at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on July 27, 2014. Farook’s older brother has been arrested.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Handout via Reuters

Syed Raheel Farook, the older brother of San Bernardino, California, shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, has been arrested after an FBI search of his home in California and charged with involvement in an alleged marriage/immigration-fraud scheme involving his Russian wife, her sister, and a man who bought weapons used in the terror attack carried out by Farook’s brother and his brother’s wife on Dec. 2, 2015. The elder Farook’s wife and her sister were also arrested. From the Los Angeles Times:

The official, who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the case with the media, said the arrests were not directly related to the investigation of the Dec. 2 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center … FBI agents have executed three search warrants at Raheel Farook’s home since Dec. 2.

Syed Raheel Farook is a decorated Navy veteran who is married to a woman named Tatiana Chernykh. Tatiana Chernykh’s sister Mariya is married to a man named Enrique Marquez. Marquez, a friend of the younger Farook who is accused of buying weapons used in the Inland Regional Center attack in San Bernardino, has already been charged with fraud for allegedly taking money to marry Mariya for immigration purposes, and a statement issued by authorities says the three people arrested Thursday have been charged by a federal grand jury with “making false statements under oath for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits for one of the defendants.” Marquez reportedly told acquaintances that his marriage to Mariya Chernykh was “fake” and “just for the papers.”

Syed Rizwan Farook—Raheel Farook’s younger brother—and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in what seems to have been a lone-wolf jihadist terror attack at the Inland center in San Bernardino, Farook’s workplace. They were both killed later that day in a shootout with law enforcement authorities.