Like leopards, some types of terrorists never change their nature, just the scope of their targets.
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.Mr. Washington is a member of an area gang, the Rollin' 60s.
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. [SNIP]
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. [SNIP]
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.
It's quite reasonable for the global jihadists to recruit new members among those Americans who are already used to committing acts of terrorism: violent ex-cons in general and gang members in particular.
I guess the two Americans couldn’t stop robbing people long enough to keep OPSEC for their future plans; bad for them, good for LA.
(Thanks to Greg Ransom)