Two California men enter guilty pleas on terror charges

14 December 2007: Two of four men indicted in August 2005 for plotting to attack U.S. military facilities, Israeli government facilities and Jewish synagogues in the Los Angeles area pleaded guilty to terrorism charges today. Kevin JAMES, a/k/a Shakyh Shahaab MURSHID and Levar WASHINGTON, a/k/a Abdur RAHMAN appeared before a court in Santa Ana and pleaded guilty to conspiring to wage war against the United States. Both will be sentenced next year.

In a statement released by Justice Department officials, the third man, Gregory Patterson, a/k/a Bilal, was expected to enter a plea of guilty on Monday to one charge of conspiracy to commit terrorism. The fourth member of the group, Hammad SAMANA, a U.S. resident from Pakistan, was assessed as unfit to stand trial. He is currently receiving psychiatric care at a federal prison, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

According to the indictment, JAMES (MURSHID) founded an Islamic terrorist group in 1997 while incarcerated at California State Prison-Sacramento, and recruited other inmates for the organization identified as Jamâyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh,, or JIS. In 2004, he recruited Levar WASHINGTON. Upon being released from prison, WASHINGTON began recruiting other co-conspirators to plot terrorist acts and commit armed robberies – the latter to fund purchases of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Beginning sometime about December 2004, WASHINGTON, PATTERSON and SAMANA targeted and conducted Internet research on and surveillance of U.S. military facilities 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 and synagogues. They also allegedly engaged in firearms and physical training, in preparation for attacks.