African-American jihadists plead guilty in terror plot against Jewish-Americans, LAX Airport Terminal, Santa Monica Hospital office

Is radical Islam growing in America's prisons? Watch PBS Trailer for "Homegrown: Islam in Prison"

(Dec 14, 2007, Associated Press) Two of four men accused of plotting attacks on Southern California military sites and Jewish targets have agreed to plead guilty to terrorism conspiracy charges, prosecutors said.

Kevin James and Levar Haley Washington were set to enter the pleas Friday in federal court in Santa Ana, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement. Both were indicted in 2005 on federal charges including conspiring to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism.

Authorities claimed that the plot was hatched in prison and that James, Washington and two others were a cell of
radical Muslims planning attacks on military facilities, synagogues and other sites in the Los Angeles area.

Prosecutors assert that James even prepared a press release that the men planned to send out after an attack:

"This incident is the first in a series of incidents to come in a plight to defend and propagate traditional Islam in its purity," James allegedly wrote. "We are not extremists, radicals or terrorists. We are only servants of Allah."

Police uncovered the plot in July 2005 while investigating gas station robberies that authorities say were committed to finance the attacks.

Washington faces a sentence of five years to life in prison, and James could be sentenced to as much as 20 years, according to their plea agreements.

Also indicted in the case were Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana. Samana is a Pakistani national, while the others are U.S.-born Muslim converts.

The plot was orchestrated by Washington, Patterson and Samana at the behest of James, a California State Prison, Sacramento, inmate who founded the radical group Jamiyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or JIS, authorities said.

Washington converted to Islam while imprisoned with James, then looked to recruit other members for the group, authorities said.

Washington, Patterson and Samana — who attended the same Inglewood mosque — allegedly conducted surveillance of military sites, synagogues, the Israeli Consulate and El Al airline facilities in the region as well as Internet research on Jewish holidays, prosecutors said in 2005.

James preached that JIS members should target for violent attack any enemies of Islam or "infidels," including the U.S. government and any supporters of Israel, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say he also created a document he called the "JIS Protocol," which
advocated the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the U.S. that followed Shariah law, a strict form of Islam observed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"Sit back, build and attack!" prosecutors say James wrote in his document. "Our obvious targets being the Western forces of the U.S. and their ... society."

James spelled out in a separate document that JIS members must learn Arabic, acquire two pistols with silencers, learn bomb-making and become "legitimate."

"Acquire identification, drivers license ... keep regular contact with your parole agent," prosecutors say James wrote. "Your dress code must not bring attention. ... We have work to do."

All four were charged with conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. government through terrorism and conspiracy to possess and discharge firearms in a violent crime. Washington, Patterson and Samana each face a count of conspiracy to kill members of the U.S. government uniformed services and a count of conspiracy to kill foreign officials. Washington and Patterson are charged with robbery and using a firearm in a violent crime.

The L.A. Times reports: FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said the case is a chilling example of law enforcement thwarting a terrorist plot at the eleventh hour. "These homegrown terrorists had raised the money, recruited the people, chosen the targets, obtained the weapons and set the date," Mueller said in a prepared statement. "All they had left to do was strike."

James faces 20 years in prison. Washington, who also pleaded guilty to using a gun during the plot faces 25 years. Patterson is expected to plead guilty on Monday.

The targets for the operation included National Guard facilities, synagogues and the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, with the intention of "killing everyone at the target" (The Sacramento Bee, 18 August 2005). A history of the case is also available on
"MilNet Brief.

19 terrorist attacks stopped against US since 9/11 - by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. of the Heritage Foundation

The government's success in pro­tecting the homeland argues that vigilant and proac­tive counterterrorism operations are an essential part of keeping America safe in the 21st century.

Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh was allegedly formed in the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan, one of the largest Muslim religious sects in American prisons. This and more on
Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh's activities is available from Inside Prison.

Background: "4 Are Indicted in Alleged Plot to Spread Terror" by Greg Krikorian and Solomon Moore, L.A. Times, September 1, 2005

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted four men, including the leader of a radical Islamist prison gang, for allegedly plotting a string of terrorist attacks on U.S. military facilities and synagogues in southern California. The six-count indictment accuses Kevin Lamar James, 29, Levar Haney Washington, 25, and Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana, both 21, of planning attack on sites including National Guard recruitment centers and the Israeli Consulate.

All four men were charged with conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. government through terrorism. The plot, the indictment says, was hatched by James, an inmate at the California State Prison in Sacramento and founder of small gang of radical Muslims. ...

Patterson, 21, took classes at El Camino College and California State University, Northridge, and still lived at home with his parents, both community college employees. A former Catholic school student described by his acquaintances as bookish and quiet, Patterson fell in love with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and converted three years ago.

Samana was raised a Muslim in Pakistan and moved with his family five years ago to an apartment in Inglewood. He worked at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, attended Santa Monica College, played cricket and ran cross-country.

Despite their different backgrounds, the three young men shared a faith took them to the Jamat-e-Masjidul Islam mosque, across the street from Samana's apartment, three months ago. Authorities allege that their meeting at the mosque was a key moment in a complex conspiracy that had its roots 400 miles away at a state prison in Folsom.

There, James dreamed up the idea of attacking targets in southern California and urged Washington, then a fellow prisoner, to implement the plan when released in November 2004, the indictment said. Prison officials years ago marked James as a radical Muslim and a security threat, and transferred him from another state prison after he allegedly founded a prison gang called Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh, or the Assembly of Authentic Islam. Authorities say the group espoused such a violent interpretation of the Koran that they scattered its followers across the state prison system in hopes of squelching the movement.

The alleged actions of Samana and Patterson troubles officials because neither man had criminal records. But they said they are equally troubled that James and Washington were allegedly able hatch the plot at a state prison -- without any apparent ties to international terrorist organizations.

James, who also went by several aliases including Shakyh Shahaab Murshid and Abdul-Wahid Ash-Sheena, "emerged from the Nation of Islam," said one official, who declined to be identified because of the government's ban on speaking publicly about the case. "He decided they were not radical enough."

The Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan, is one of the largest Muslim sects in U.S. prisons, though it differs from orthodox Islam in its adherence to the teachings of the late black separatist, Elijah Muhammad. Although the group has been criticized in the past for harshly condemning the U.S. government and making anti-Semitic remarks, it publicly opposes terrorism.

James created Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh, or JIS, while in prison at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, according to investigators. James bolstered his Islamist credentials by claiming to have spent time in Sudan, sources close to the investigation said. He clandestinely distributed a protocol for his organization that justified attacks on "enemies of Islam" including the U.S. government, Jews, supporters of Israel and other "infidels," the indictment said.

No comments:

Post a Comment