Four men plotting to kill Americans and join al-Qaeda have been detained by federal agents.
All of the men were citizens living in California. Three of them were American born citizens, while the alleged ringleader served in the US Air Force. The fourth defendant was born in Afghanistan. According to an FBI spokeswoman, the men planned to bomb military bases and government facilities, and planned to engage in "violent jihad." They also studied to become terrorists from teachings by deceased al-Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki.
The FBI claims that the men were trained for al-Qaeda at a shooting range and were excited about becoming Jihadists.
A federal complaint unsealed Monday says 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir of Pomona introduced two of the other men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased al Qaeda leader. Kabir served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001.
The other two — 23-year-old Ralph Deleon of Ontario and 21-year-old Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales of Upland — converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments.
They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali of Riverside.
Authorities allege that in Skype calls from Afghanistan, Kabir told the trio he would arrange their meetings with terrorists. Kabir added the would-be jihadists could sleep in mosques or the homes of fellow jihadists once they arrived in Afghanistan.
It's scary to think that we have radicals living so close to us!