FBI thwarts Christmas terror attack in California

An American convert to Islam was charged with planning an ISIS attack on a tourist hot spot in San Francisco over Christmas.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

According to an affidavit filed in US District Court in California on Friday, Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, a tow-truck driver from Modesto, California, outlined a plan to an FBI undercover agent to attack Pier 39, a busy shopping and tourist area in San Francisco, over the Christmas holidays. The affidavit stated, “He had been there [to Pier 39] before and knew that it was a heavily crowded area. Jameson explained that he also desired to use explosives, and described a plan in which explosives could ‘tunnel’ or ‘funnel’ people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties.”

Jameson asked the agent, who was posing as an ISIS leader, for materials to make a pipe bomb as well as an assault rifle and ammunition. Jameson had somewhat of a military background, as he finished basic training with the US Marines with rifle sharpshooter qualification eight years ago but was then discharged for covering up a history of asthma.

The court documents state that Jameson converted to Islam two years ago. An informant then tipped off federal authorities in September that he “liked” pro-Islamic State and pro-terrorism Facebook posts, and undercover agents began talking to Jameson in October. After online interactions in which he stated that he’d be willing to travel to Syria, he met with an agent on December 16. Finally, on Wednesday the FBI raided his home, where they found two rifles, a handgun, ammunition, fireworks – and a suicide note.

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‘Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims, long live ISIL’

The note stated in part, “I Abdallah [abu] Everitt ibn Gordon have committed these acts upon the Kuffar [a derogatory term for non-Muslims], in the name of Dar al Islam [the Muslim world]. Allahu Akbar [God is great]! You’ve Allowed Donald J Trump to give away Al Quds [Jerusalem] to the Jews. Both You and he are wrong, it belongs to the Muslemeen [Muslims]. Long live ISIL [ISIS]!”

His family cannot believe that Jameson was planning such an act. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, they said he was depressed and even suicidal over losing custody of his children, but that he never talked about violence or terrorism. Late Monday (before the raid), Jameson wrote to one of the operators of the sting operation that “I … don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.”

Having second thoughts about committing the crime did not mean that he recanted his extremist views. When FBI agents interviewed him after his arrest, “Jameson stated his support of ISIS and terrorism and discussed aspects of the plan to carry out an attack, noting that he would be happy if an attack was carried out,” the court document noted.

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If Jameson is convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine, according to the FBI.