4 Californians Planned to Join al-Qaeda, Kill Americans

Plotted attacks in US, overseas: FBI

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 20, 2012 6:46 AM CST

(Newser) – Four southern California men have been arrested for planning "violent jihad," including terrorist attacks in the US and abroad, the FBI says. The men intended to go to Afghanistan and join al-Qaeda and the Taliban, officials say. Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, introduced Ralph Deleon, 23, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, to the militant ideas of Anwar al-Awlaki; the trio discussed Islamic extremism online, posting material to Facebook, according to the criminal complaint. Deleon and Santana converted to Islam in 2010.

Santana told an undercover FBI agent online of his hopes to commit jihad, the AP reports. At a shooting range in September, Deleon and Santana discussed their goals with an undercover agent. Santana said he wanted to "drive into the baddest military base" with explosives. "If I'm gonna do that, I'm gonna take out a whole base. Might as well make it, like, big, ya know," he said. The group eventually recruited another 21-year-old, Arifeen David Gojali. They now face up to 15 years in prison.

Four California men were arrested for planning terrorist acts, the FBI says.
Four California men were arrested for planning terrorist acts, the FBI says.   (Shutterstock)
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