U.S. Department of Justice|
Debra Wong Yang
United States Attorney
Central District of California
United States Courthouse
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2005
For Information, Contact Public Affairs|
Thom Mrozek (213) 894-6947
Los Angeles, CA - A leader of the Jewish Defense League who admitted his role in two criminal conspiracies to manufacture and detonate bombs at a mosque and a Congressman's field office was sentenced this morning to 20 years in federal prison, the statutory maximum for his two counts of conviction.
Earl Leslie Krugel, 62, of Reseda, California, was sentenced by United States District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew. In sentencing the JDL member, Judge Lew recognized that Krugel's actions contributed to an atmosphere of ethnic hatred in the period following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Krugel pleaded guilty in 2003 to conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City with the purpose of preventing the congregants from using their house of worship. Krugel also pleaded guilty to one count of carrying an explosive in relation to a conspiracy to bomb a field office of United States Congressman Darrell Issa.
United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang said: "The Department of Justice is committed to preventing acts of terrorism. The violent plans in this case were rooted in religious and racial hatred, which have no place in our society."
"Conspiring to destroy a house of worship and harm individuals based on their race or religion is a disgraceful assault on American values," said Bradley J. Schlozman, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "We are committed to protecting all Americans from racially motivated crimes."
In a plea agreement filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Krugel admitted that he conspired with JDL leader Irving David Rubin, who committed suicide while awaiting trial on charges in this case. As part of the conspiracy, Krugel recruited a young man to join the JDL and later to participate in bomb schemes that would target Arab political and religious institutions. That person later contacted the FBI and became an informant.
The informant attended a meeting with Krugel and Rubin on October 19, 2001, where they discussed bombing Arab institutions, including the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). During subsequent meetings in October and November, the informant was instructed to locate and photograph the MPAC office in Los Angeles. The informant was also instructed to purchase some of the bomb components, including a particular brand of gunpowder and pipes. Krugel later stored all of the bomb components in his garage.
In the days leading up to the planned bombing, Rubin told the informant that the target would be a Los Angeles-area mosque, rather than the MPAC office. At the final meeting between the defendants and the informant on December 11, 2001, Rubin said that the targets would be the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and one of the offices of Congressman Issa.
Rubin and Krugel were arrested by members of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force after the final meeting.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Los Angeles Police Department; the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department; the United States Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Monrovia Police Department.
Release No. 05-136
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