Mom of San Bernardino Terrorist to Plead Guilty

Rafia Shareef expected to admit she shredded a map on the day of the 2015 attack
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2020 9:40 AM CST
San Bernardino Terrorist's Mom Likely Heading to Prison
Members of the media surround Rafia Farook, also known as Rafia Sultana Shareef, as she leaves federal court in Riverside, Calif., on April 28, 2016.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

On the same day she told family members that she believed her son was responsible for the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., Rafia Sultana Shareef came across a map at the home she shared with Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who would be shot dead within hours. But she didn't turn it over to authorities. Instead, Shareef—also known as Rafia Farook—put the map through a shredder in her son's bedroom, according to a plea agreement released Tuesday. "Shareef admitted that she knew her son had produced the document, and she believed it was directly related to his planning of the [Inland Regional Center] attack" that killed 14 people, prosecutors say, per NBC News. Investigators later found pipe bombs and ammunition inside the home.

The 66-year-old, who is to plead guilty to alteration, destruction, and mutilation of records in an effort to impede the investigation, could face 20 years in federal prison, though prosecutors say they'll seek a maximum of just 18 months. They haven't claimed Shareef—to appear in federal court in Riverside on March 16—knew about the attack in advance. Indeed, they say the attackers told her they were headed to a medical appointment, rather than to IRC. Farook's friend, Enrique Marquez, believed to have purchased the two guns used in the attack, reportedly pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiring to supply material to terrorists in 2017. He's now attempting to withdraw his plea to the latter charge, per the San Bernardino Sun. (More San Bernardino shooting stories.)

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