The U.S. Justice Department announced the
indictment August 31 of four men for their alleged involvement
in a conspiracy to attack foreign officials and U.S. military
facilities in southern California.
The men are accused of conspiring to commit
terrorist acts against the U.S. government by attacking
U.S. military targets and Israeli and Jewish facilities
in the Los Angeles area including the Israeli Consulate,
the airline El Al and various synagogues.
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said
that if the four defendants had succeeded “in their
alleged plots, their attacks would have taken [the lives
of] an untold number of Americans” and others.
Three of the men who were indicted are U.S.
citizens and the fourth is a legal permanent U.S. resident
who originally came to the United States from Pakistan.
FBI Director Robert Mueller said this case
demonstrates the importance of law enforcement partnerships
and cooperation among terrorism task forces. “Sharing
intelligence about criminal elements in our communities
gives all of us a better understanding of individuals who
may be supporting terrorism organizations or plotting terrorist
activity," he said.
The four defendants were already jailed
facing federal, state or local charges. They could face
life in prison if found guilty as charged by a federal grand
jury in Santa Ana, California.
text of the attorney general’s remarks about the
case is available on the Justice Department Web site.
For additional information about U.S. policy,
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
FOUR MEN INDICTED ON TERRORISM CHARGES RELATED
TO CONSPIRACY TO ATTACK MILITARY FACILITIES, OTHER TARGETS
Alleged Conspiracy Targeted U.S. Military
Facilities, Israeli and Jewish Targets in California
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four men have been indicted
by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California, for their
alleged roles in a terrorist plot to attack U.S. military
facilities, Israeli government facilities and Jewish synagogues
in the Los Angeles area, the Department of Justice announced
The seditious conspiracy charged in the
indictment, which also included nearly a dozen gas station
robberies intended to raise money for the terrorist operation,
was allegedly run by an inmate at California State Prison-Sacramento
who founded a radical Islamic organization known as Jam'iyyat
Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or JIS. Recruitment of participants
in the conspiracy began in prison, according to the indictment.
Upon being released from prison, defendant Levar Washington
then allegedly recruited other co-conspirators to plot terrorist
acts and commit armed robberies.
The six-count indictment returned today
charges the following individuals:
-- Kevin James, 29, a/k/a "Shakyh Shahaab
Murshid" and other aliases. James, a U.S. national,
allegedly founded JIS in 1997 while in prison;
-- Levar Washington, 25, a/k/a "Abdur
Rahman" and other aliases, a U.S. national;
-- Gregory Patterson, 21, a/k/a "Bilal,"
a U.S. national;
-- Hammad Samana, 21, a lawful permanent
U.S. resident originally from Pakistan.
The indictment charges all four defendants
with conspiracy to levy war against the United States government
through terrorism and conspiracy to possess and discharge
firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence. Washington,
Patterson and Samana are charged with conspiracy to kill
members of the U.S. government uniformed services and conspiracy
to kill foreign officials. Washington and Patterson are
further charged with interference with commerce by robbery
and using and carrying a firearm in connection with a crime
All four defendants are currently in custody
on federal, state or local charges.
"Today's indictment alleges that these
defendants turned their terrorist plans and actions against
locations in their own country, targeting American military
facilities, religious institutions, and other facilities
right here in the United States," said Attorney General
Alberto R. Gonzales. "Thanks to the
work of able investigators at all levels of government,
any further acts of violence arising from this dangerous
conspiracy -- a conspiracy which included identification
of target locations, procurement of weapons, firearms and
physical training, recruitment efforts, and financing operations
through armed robberies - were prevented."
"This case illustrates the importance
of law enforcement partnerships and the cooperation we see
every day in our terrorism task forces," said FBI Director
Robert S. Mueller III. "Sharing intelligence about
criminal elements in our communities gives all of us a better
understanding of individuals who may be supporting terrorist
organizations or plotting terrorist activity."
U.S. Attorney Debra Wong Yang of the Central
District of California said, "This case demonstrates
the value of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Diligent work
by the local police led to the disruption of a terrorist
plot that had the potential to cause significant bloodshed.
They reported their findings to the FBI and all levels of
law enforcement worked together to protect the United States
and her people. Terrorist organizations have so far been
unsuccessful in executing their devious plots in Southern
California, and I promise that we will all work as hard
as possible to continue to keep you safe."
The indictment alleges that James recruited
fellow prison inmates to join JIS and preached the duty
of members to target for violent attack any enemies of Islam,
or "infidels," including the U.S. government and
Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel. James allegedly
distributed a document in prison that justified the killing
of "infidels," and made members take an oath not
to talk about the existence of JIS. He also allegedly sought
to establish groups or "cells" of JIS members
outside of prison to carry out violent attacks against "perceived
infidels," including the U.S. government, the government
of Israel, and Jewish people.
Washington, also an inmate at the Sacramento
prison, joined JIS in about November 2004, and was paroled
at the end of the month, according to the indictment. In
December 2004, James allegedly instructed Washington to
recruit five people to train in covert operations, acquire
firearms with silencers, and find contacts with explosives
expertise or learn to make bombs that could be activated
from a distance.
The indictment alleges that beginning in
about December 2004, Washington, Patterson and Samana targeted
and conducted Internet research on and surveillance of U.S.
military facilities - such as recruitment centers and military
bases - in the Los Angeles area, as part of their plot to
kill U.S. military personnel. In July 2005, Patterson and
Samana allegedly used computers to research military targets
in the Los Angeles area, while Samana drafted a document
listing Israeli and U.S. targets in Los Angeles. In addition
to the U.S. military targets, the co-conspirators specifically
targeted Israeli and Jewish facilities in the Los Angeles
area, including the Israeli Consulate, El Al (the national
airline of Israel) and synagogues. They also allegedly engaged
in firearms and physical training, in preparation for attacks.
According to the indictment, the defendants
purchased weapons or otherwise tried to acquire weapons
in furtherance of their terrorist conspiracy and made efforts
to raise money by robbing gas stations. The indictment alleges
that 11 times beginning May 30, 2005, the defendants - armed
with shotguns - robbed or attempted to rob gas stations
in the several cities and towns in Southern California,
including Los Angeles, Torrance, Playa Del Ray, Bellflower,
Pico Rivera, Walnut, Orange, Playa Vista and Fullerton.
The indictment alleges that during the gas station robbery
spree, Patterson updated James on the progress of the planned
war of terrorism against the U.S. government.
If convicted of all of the charges, the
defendants face life in prison.
These criminal charges are being prosecuted
by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin E. Smith, Deirdre Eliot
and Greg Staples of the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central
District of California. The criminal investigation into
the alleged terrorist conspiracy was conducted by the Long
Beach Joint Terrorism Task Force. The lead investigative
agencies in this investigation were the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Torrance
Police Department, the California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation, and the California Department of Justice.
Substantial assistance was provided by the Counterterrorism
Section of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice;
the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department; U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at
the Department of Homeland Security; the Drug Enforcement
Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives; and the United States Coast Guard. Participating
in the Long Beach Joint Terrorism Task Force and providing
support during the investigation were the Long Beach Police
Department, the Los Angeles Port Police, the Redondo Beach
Police Department, and the United States Environmental Protection
Agency. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
work collaboratively with federal prosecutors during the
The charges contained in this indictment
are allegations only and the defendants are presumed innocent
until and unless convicted at trial.