Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SoCal Jihadi Gets 22 Years

Back in 2005, I mentioned a fairly sinister plot in Los Angeles that involved a cell of jihadists and Muslims converted in prison who were planning a vicious assault on military and Jewish targets in the area.

It's taken almost three years,but the first of the group has finally been sentenced:

A Muslim convert and former prison inmate was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison Monday for conspiring to wage war on the United States – including plotting terrorist attacks on local military sites and Jewish centers and synagogues – in a plan one prosecutor said was intended to “kill as many people as possible.”

Levar Haley Washington, 30, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty in December to being part of a domestic terrorist ring run from a California prison.

Authorities say the four men in Jami’yyat Ul-Islam Is-Shaheeh, or JIS, wanted make a political statement by killing civilians at local temples during Jewish holidays and attacking military bases, and had plans to attack the Israeli consultate in Los Angeles and El Al Israel Airlines at LAX.

Washington, along with the cell’s alleged mastermind, Kevin James, and members Gregory Patterson and Hammad Samana, was charged in July 2005.

Washington was serving time at New Folsom Prison in 2004, when he met James and was recruited into the cell.

After his release from prison, Washington recruited Patterson. The pair committed armed robberies of 11 gas stations, including two in Fullerton, to buy weapons and gear for the attacks.

The article doesn't mention it,but it was sheer luck that these people were caught,when one of these motards left his cell phone at the scene of one of those robberies.

Two of the others are scheduled to be sentenced within a month, while one of the group, Hammad Samana, is supposedly unfit to stand trial and is in a psychiatric facility.

I haven't researched it,but from this bit by the Federal prosecutor, I can almost guarantee the Islamophobia card was played..which leads me to wonder..who paid for their legal defense? I have a feeling it wasn't a public defender:

Federal prosecutor Gregory Staples clarified the case against Washington was not about religion – it was about terrorist activity.

“Mr. Washington is not on trial because he is a Muslim,’’ Staples said. “What he did was the most serious political crime. … The plan was to walk into a house of worship and kill as many people as you can get away with – that is the sheer definition of terrorism.”

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney handed down the 22-year sentence, calling the plot “truly frightening.”

“It was an active terrorist cell ready to act out its evil,” the judge said. “(We) need to send a message out to terrorists: They need to be held accountable.”

There will be a lot more of these..be prepared.

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