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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 27, 2014

San Jose Man Sentenced To 15 Years For Attempting To Bomb Bank In Oakland

OAKLAND – Matthew Aaron Llaneza was sentenced today to 15 years in prison, followed by supervised release for the rest of his life, for attempting to detonate a vehicle-borne explosive device at a bank in Oakland, announced Melinda Haag, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California; John P. Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice; and David J. Johnson, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Field Office.

Llaneza, 28, of San Jose, Calif. pleaded guilty on October 10, 2013, to the sole count in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on March 7, 2013, charging him with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332a(a)(2)(B).

According to the plea agreement, Llaneza admitted to knowingly attempting to detonate a vehicle-borne explosive device, or car bomb, at the Bank of America branch at 303 Hegenberger Road in Oakland, Calif., with the goal of destroying the bank building. He constructed the car bomb with a man he believed to be connected with the Taliban and the mujahidin in Afghanistan. Unbeknownst to Llaneza, this man was an undercover agent with the FBI and the car bomb he helped to construct and attempted to detonate had been rendered inert by agents of the FBI.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, United States District Court Judge, following a guilty plea to one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332a(a)(2)(B).

This case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by FBI’s San Jose Resident Agency, with the assistance of the FBI San Francisco Joint Terrorism Task Force, the California Highway Patrol, the San Jose Police Department, the Oakland Police Department, the Hayward Police Department, and the Union City Police Department.

(Llaneza indictment )