Four men arrested: planning attacks against U.S.

2 September 2005: A federal grand jury indicted four men, one the leader of a state prison gang, for allegedly plotting terror attacks against U.S. military and National Guard facilities, Jewish synagogues and the Israeli Consulate. The 15-page indictment was released yesterday and accuses Kevin Lamar James, 29; Levar Haney Washington, 25; Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21; and Hammad Riaz Samana, 21, of plotting terrorist attacks, including the use of guns and explosives to “maximize the number of casualties to be inflicted.” All sites are reportedly in the Southern California area. The indictment identifies all four men as being part of a terrorist “war” by Islamic extremists.

The six-count indictment identifies all four men as being a part of a conspiracy “to levy war against the U.S. government through terrorism” and states that the plot was hatched by James, an inmate at the California state prison in Sacramento. Kevin Lamar James, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for an armed robbery in 1996, is the founder of a prison gang of radical Muslims known as Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh, or “JIS,” an Islamic group operating in prisons since 1997.

The indictment states that James, who has been incarcerated since 1996 on attempted robbery and weapons convictions, preached that it is “the duty of JIS members to target for violent attack any enemies of Islam or ‘infidels,’ including the United States government and Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel.” He also allegedly forced members to take an oath of obedience to him and not to disclose the existence of JIS. The indictment alleges he recruited inmates by distributing a “protocol” that spelled out his teachings about Islam, including the justification for killing nonbelievers. James, who used several aliases, also aspired to create “cells” to carry out violent attacks outside prison.

According to the indictment, the terror attacks were to be carried out on Jewish holidays. The indictment also charges Washington and Patterson with robbing a gas station at gunpoint on July 5 to help fund the terrorism, and notes that Patterson reportedly bought a .223-caliber rifle this past July. They were also actively engaged in recruiting bomb experts. In December 2004, the indictment alleges that James urged Levar Haney Washington to recruit five people without felony convictions and “train them in covert operations,” including teaching them to make remote-activated bombs.