Video: Four men detained in California in home-grown terror plot

posted at 12:16 pm on November 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Just in case anyone wondered whether the threat of home-grown terrorism had abated, ABC News and the LA Times report today that federal agents broke up a ring of would-be jihadis, including a former member of the US Air Force. The group got infiltrated early by the FBI, but at least one of the group made it to Afghanistan to arrange the introduction of the others to terrorist networks for training before being apprehended in his native country:

Federal agents have arrested four southern California men over an alleged plot to provide material support to ter
rorists and join al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in order to strike American targets.

The four men, one of which was a former member of the U.S. Air Force, conspired to provide material support to terrorists who planned to commit “violent jihad,” including the bombing of military bases and government facilities and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, officials said.

The FBI claims the group had conducted training including going to shooting ranges and were planning on traveling to Afghanistan to bomb and kill U.S. soldiers.

According to the complaint, which was unsealed Monday, Sohiel Omar Kabir, a 34-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan, introduced Ralph Deleon, 23, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, to radical and violent Islamic doctrine, including essays by Anwar Al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Only one of the men appears to be a native-born citizen of the US. Kabir was born in Afghanistan, while Deleon was born in the Philippines and Santana Vidriales in Mexico. The fourth, Arifeen David Gojali, is a native US citizen, according to the report in the LA Times.  All three had prepared themselves for their upcoming training and had committed themselves to terrorism:

Arifeen David Gojali, 21, was recruited by Santana and Deleon, the complaint states, in September 2012 to travel with then to Afghanistan. The three allegedly trained at firearms and paintball facilities to prepare for terrorist training abroad and made plans to join Kabir in Afghanistan, where they would attend terrorist training, according to the court document. They had made flight arrangements and obtained the required passports and visas, the complaint states.

A confidential FBI source met with the trio several times over the course of the investigation. In May, the source traveled with the trio to Las Vegas to attend a conference, recording many of their conversations throughout the trip. Speaking of law enforcement during the trip, Deleon said he’d “cut their throats if I had the chance.”

While on the trip, the men revealed to the FBI source that they planned to travel to Afghanistan to meet Kabir and commit acts of jihad.

Needless to say, the value of these recruits wouldn’t have been wasted on fighting in Afghanistan.  These terrorist networks want to recruit Americans to commit acts of terrorism within the US, and their familiarity of American culture and US citizenship would have given them almost unlimited opportunity to plot and conduct attacks.  The FBI has been succeeding at sniffing out these groups before they have the opportunity to put their plans into action, but that takes a level of vigilance that can be difficult to maintain and support if the threats isn’t made plain on a regular basis.  We’re fortunate that this group got stopped before they could do any real damage, but can only hope and pray that we get to them all in a similar manner.


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Dear al-Qaeda,

We’re number one. This finger proves it.

America

Capitalist Hog on November 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

i dont beleve it this must be a republican plot, after all Obama killed Osama.

ChunkyLover on November 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Wait till something pops in Iran. Then we’ll see the expert sleeper cells here gear up.

a capella on November 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

seems like one of these stings always shows up when the heat on the DOJ and WH for failing in other regards gets turned up.

Coincidence?

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Arifeen David Gojali, 21, was recruited by Santana and Deleon, the complaint states, in September 2012 to travel with then to Afghanistan. The three allegedly trained at firearms and paintball facilities to prepare for terrorist training abroad and made plans to join Kabir in Afghanistan, where they would attend terrorist training, according to the court document.

Interesting emphasis on training in Afghanistan. Good thing that war is won and we can pull our troops out.
/

STL_Vet on November 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Either some Federal agents are defying the White House, or this whole incident is a “staged” con-job.

listens2glenn on November 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

On the plus side, the diversity of this group is excellent!

PersonFromPorlock on November 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Can someone explain to me the point of this if we’re determined to prevent Israel from winning? Seems like when Israel is overrun, there will be no practical reason to resist the Muzzies.

platypus on November 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

It all sounds so …….. Tenuous.

Curtiss on November 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

“This terror plot was spurred on by an anti-muslim Tweet.”

-BHO

portlandon on November 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The FBI has been succeeding at sniffing (using unconstitutional surveillance against every one else in order more easily weed these guys out) out these groups before they have the opportunity to put their plans into action, but that takes a level of vigilance that can be difficult to maintain and support if the threats isn’t made plain on a regular basis (while keeping the population ignorant of the damage being done to their privacy and freedom in the process). We’re fortunate that this group got stopped before they could do any real damage, but can only hope and pray that we get to them all in a similar manner (and are able to continue prying into the private lives of the citizens of the United States of America on a daily basis, likely leading to many other arrests and detentions of people we will never be told about, as they will be rotting in a prison cell unannounced to anyone, uncharged, but hey, this is America, not some thrid world tyrant run country).

astonerii on November 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Can’t be true. Al Qeada is on the run. Barry said so.

ctmom on November 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Arresting these four young men is not optimal.

Kenosha Kid on November 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

ABC News? Has Brian Ross determined what Tea Party group they are affiliated with?

Anyway, I thought Al Queda was dead. The Obama administration said so.

HumpBot Salvation on November 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Why didn’t Obama just send in the drones?

mwbri on November 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Why we allow this entirely hostile death cult to remain on our shores, even though they’re expressed goal is the overthrow of everything our civilization and culture stand for, is a mystery to me.

Did we allow the nazis to build recruiting halls here? Did we allow emperor-worshiping temples here during WWII? They are here to kill us, and our welcoming them with open arms and the protection of our laws is simply suicidal.

Time to correct it.

Rebar on November 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Interesting emphasis on training in Afghanistan. Good thing that war is won and we can pull our troops out.
/

STL_Vet on November 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

My first thought as well when I read this. WTF are we doing there if we’re not rooting out and tearing up their terror training camps? That was the whole reason we invaded in the first place!

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Why didn’t Obama just send in the drones?

mwbri on November 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Exactly! We have a few here on Hot Air that I would be willing to spare.

Archivarix on November 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Whoever provoked these guys on Youtube needs to be jailed immediately.

forest on November 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Wow that movie might win an Oscar.

pat on November 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

According to the complaint, which was unsealed Monday, Sohiel Omar Kabir, a 34-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan, introduced Ralph Deleon, 23, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, to radical and violent Islamic doctrine, including essays by Anwar Al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Only one of the men appears to be a native-born citizen of the US. Kabir was born in Afghanistan, while Deleon was born in the Philippines and Santana Vidriales in Mexico. The fourth, Arifeen David Gojali, is a native US citizen, according to the report in the LA Times.

With all the handwringing about home-grown milita groups and what a danger they present, has anybody noticed none of the recent arrests for terrorism are named things like, “Bob Smith”, “Jim Page”, “Michael Jones”, “John Smith”, etc. etc.

With only one of the four born here, what makes this a “home grown” terror plot? That they were living here?

Mitoch55 on November 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Hmmmm… Who radicalized them? How long was the FBI involved?

I’m skeptical. It almost inevitably turns out that the FBI has coached these moronic dupes through the entire process.

BocaJuniors on November 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

According to the complaint, which was unsealed Monday, Sohiel Omar Kabir, a 34-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan, introduced Ralph Deleon, 23, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, to radical and violent Islamic doctrine, including essays by Anwar Al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Meh. Not exactly home grown.

dczombie on November 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I am so sick and tired of these damned Lutherans.

Give them all of the lutefisk if that’s what it takes to make them happy.

Bruno Strozek on November 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Am I mistaken or don’t some of these terrorists have Latino names? I thought they loved our dear leader and wouldn’t do anything to harm his propaganda, uh, I mean foreign policy strategery. Didn’t the leader of that Latino country to the south of us just say that terrorists don’t use the drug cartels and easy access to the border from his country? Up is down.

Kissmygrits on November 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

These fellows are similar to the Muslim Brotherhood, mostly secular, and so have nothing to do with Islam. Still, free speech must be curtailed for everyones safety. Damn YouTube.

BL@KBIRD on November 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

They’re not jihadists, just misunderstood movie reviewers

Trafalgar on November 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Why we allow this entirely hostile death cult to remain on our shores, even though they’re expressed goal is the overthrow of everything our civilization and culture stand for, is a mystery to me.

Did we allow the nazis to build recruiting halls here? Did we allow emperor-worshiping temples here during WWII? They are here to kill us, and our welcoming them with open arms and the protection of our laws is simply suicidal.

Rebar on November 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

IT’s mysterious to me as well.
And this home grown BS made me almost choke on my lunch.
WTF?! These people are from a country that harbors the enemy.
There is nothing home grown about any of this.
More obfuscation & kibbitzing over words.
Anyone from the middle east should not be allowed here. I don’t even care if they proclaim themselves Christians. It’s just getting ridiculous.
I’m even noticing muslims that wear the hijab her in SW NORTH DAKOTA.

Badger40 on November 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM

seems like one of these stings always shows up when the heat on the DOJ and WH for failing in other regards gets turned up.

Coincidence?

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

RACIST!!!

//

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Another fabricated terror plot foiled by those that created it.

Will_Hal on November 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

The FBI has been succeeding at sniffing out these groups before they have the opportunity to put their plans into action, but that takes a level of vigilance that can be difficult to maintain and support if the threats isn’t made plain on a regular basis.

Keep drinking the kool-aid. To say that the FBI has actually broken up any of these is misleading. The vast majority of cases the FBI finds some young fool that is filled with hate and discontent. They use that, stroke the lone individual’s ego and encourage him. Then they provide the fake explosives, help in the planning and then arrest the guy. Most of the time the individual does not have the means to actually carry out any real attack, doesn’t not know how to obtain the required material or meet the real players.

Many times it border on entrapment.

MoreLiberty on November 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

So when the FBI stops something bad from happening – it’s a terror plot.

When people storm a consulate and kill four Americans – it’s a reaction to a video.

OK, got it.

Hill60 on November 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

My first thought as well when I read this. WTF are we doing there if we’re not rooting out and tearing up their terror training camps? That was the whole reason we invaded in the first place!

rockmom on November 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Nuke the site from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure.

Midas on November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

AQ has been decimated by our leader and his people.

This story is a nothingburger.

CorporatePiggy on November 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Sohiel Omar Kabir? Danged Lutherans, again??!

ConservativeLA on November 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Anyone from the middle east should not be allowed here. I don’t even care if they proclaim themselves Christians. It’s just getting ridiculous.
I’m even noticing muslims that wear the hijab her in SW NORTH DAKOTA.

Badger40 on November 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Our current federal government worships at the altar of “diversity.” Loathing Americans and everything we value is just a different point of view, at least as Obama and his lackeys see it. Having an anti-American mindset makes would-be immigrants more appealing (and more likely to be handed a visa) by the idiots running our federal government. (Extra points are awarded to those who don’t speak English and can’t support themselves).

The new immigrants don’t proclaim to be Christians. They know that, with the current administration, that would count against them.

AZCoyote on November 20, 2012 at 2:50 PM

“you wingnuts are always inventing some fake hate-filled controversy…face it, you just hate non-whites…you rightwing nutjobs!”
Drywall
Resident Canadian Communist/America-Hater

Strike Hornet on November 20, 2012 at 6:27 PM

seems like one of these stings always shows up when the heat on the DOJ and WH for failing in other regards gets turned up.

Coincidence?

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

…there definetly has been a pattern!

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM