Maybe a dupe
August 16, 2005
latimes.com : California
Arrest Made in Possible Terror Plot
FBI probe uncovers a list of potential Southland targets and suggests a connection between prison groups and Islamic extremists.
By Greg Krikorian, Times Staff Writer
A Pakistani national has been arrested by authorities in connection with a far-reaching investigation of a possible terrorist plot targeting any of nearly two dozen locations in Southern California, including National Guard recruitment centers, law enforcement sources said Monday.
The suspect, identified as Hamad Riaz Samana, 21, of Los Angeles, was quietly taken into custody last week by counter-terrorism officials as part of a probe that began with the arrest of two men in Torrance suspected of robbing gas stations. The investigation, sources said, has involved more than 100 FBI agents and Los Angeles police detectives as well as counter-terrorism specialists with other federal and local agencies.
The case has opened a new and troubling front for counter-terrorism officials because of a possible connection to a radical form of Islam practiced by a group called Jamiyyat Ul Islam Is Saheeh, an official said. The group's name translates as The Assembly of Authentic Islam.
While little is known publicly about the JIS, as intelligence officials call it, the group has been around for several years and has a presence at Folsom State Prison, where one of the three men in custody, Levar Haney Washington, 25, served time for assault and robbery, according to law enforcement sources.
The JIS is only one of the prison-based groups being investigated for possible ties to Islamic extremists. The prospect that prisons in the U.S. may prove a breeding ground for homegrown terrorists has been a central focus of the closely-guarded investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Monday, without providing any details, that the public disclosures about the JIS underscored concerns that inmates and ex-cons might be recruited for terrorism in the U.S.
"The conversation about prisons has been going on for a long time. That is not a new subject," Harman said during a luncheon with Times reporters. "My question is why don't we know more about this group, and what about other groups?"
The counter-terrorism case began when Washington and Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21, were arrested by Torrance police in connection with a string of gas station robberies between May 30 and July 3.
The arrests led to a search of Washington's apartment on West 27th Street in Los Angeles.
Detectives discovered bulletproof vests and "jihadist" materials not readily available via the Internet, authorities said. Also found were the addresses of locations including the National Guard facilities, two synagogues, the Israeli Consulate and the El Al Israel Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport.
Law enforcement sources say other recovered documents suggest that particular dates — including Sept. 11 — may have been selected for terrorist attacks.
Sources say they have found no links between the men arrested in Los Angeles and any overseas terrorism network. Samana was not known to have any criminal record or alleged ties to known terrorist groups.
But the documents allegedly recovered from Washington's apartment, sources say, strongly suggest the men may have been planning an attack that could have unfolded in a matter of weeks. Sources say authorities have been compiling evidence for possible federal charges.
Samana was being held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, but it was not clear what charge he was being held on. Washington and Patterson have been held at the Men's Central Jail since their arraignment on nine counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery. A Superior Court judge has set bail at $1 million for Patterson and $2 million for Washington, a Rollin' 60s gang member.
Attorneys for Washington and Patterson have said they have not been apprised of any charges facing their clients outside of the robbery cases. The name of Samana's attorney was not available.
Patterson, who has no criminal record, worked at a duty free gift shop at LAX until early this year.
No one has suggested he was surveying the airport as a possible target, but the fact that he worked at the Tom Bradley International Terminal has raised concerns for counter-terrorism officials because LAX is viewed as one of the state's most likely potential targets.
The working Pakistani community with their professionals and their businesses hate the terrorists. They don't want to lose money because some moron blew himself up somewhere. They don't want their kids running off with some loony imam and getting shot by US troops on some Turd World street corner. It's too bad Liberals are giving them a pass to the point that they don't even help the cops crack down on the bad apples in their community.
It's a dupe, but no one seems to care about this story.
Folsom prison is about 10 miles away from me