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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947

    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-024

    March 6, 2009


    SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former inmate in a California state prison who formed a
    domestic terrorist group that planned to attack United States military operations,
    “infidels,” and Israeli and Jewish facilities in the Los Angeles area was sentenced this
    morning to 16 years in federal prison.

    Kevin James, 32, who formed the terrorist group he dubbed Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam
    Is-Saheeh, or JIS, while in a California state prison, was sentenced by United States
    District Judge Cormac J. Carney.
    In sentencing James, Judge Carney said, “Mr. James was the architect and
    mastermind of a very serious, very troubling offense.”

    “The JIS terrorist group reminds us of the dangers that continue to confront our
    nation,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “Both foreign enemies and socalled
    homegrown terrorists have the desire to stage potentially deadly attacks on
    American soil. As a result of the outstanding work of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism
    Task Force, one imminent threat was identified and disabled.”

    Last year, Judge Carney sentenced Levar Washington, who was recruited into
    JIS while in state prison and subsequently recruited others into the plot, to 22 years in
    prison. A third man involved in JIS, Gregory Patterson, was sentenced last year to 151
    months in prison.

    James, Washington and Patterson admitted in court that they conspired “to levy
    war against the government of the United States through terrorism, and to oppose by
    force the authority of the United States government.”
    The fourth member of JIS accused in an indictment – Hammad Samana – is
    scheduled to go on trial on July 14 before Judge Carney.

    “Kevin James, the founder of the JIS homegrown terror cell, recruited his
    co-conspirators from behind prison walls to target Los Angeles for terrorism,” said
    Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. “This case
    reminds us of the evolving terror threat we face, and continues to serve as one of the
    finest examples of line police officers uncovering a terrorist plot and setting aside
    jurisdictional boundaries to work with the JTTF.”

    Torrance Police Chief John J. Neu said: “This case is a prime example of
    front-line police officers as front-line prevention of domestic terrorism. This dangerous
    group was discovered by alert police officers and the teamwork between our regional
    law enforcement partners met this danger head-on. It is important to understand that
    there was nothing artificial about this group's ability to carry-out a mass casualty attack.
    This case represents the effective collaboration of local, state and federal resources in
    the region which thwarted a tremendous threat to our citizens. We are very pleased to
    with today's sentencing of Kevin James.”

    After forming JIS in 1997 while in state prison, James recruited Washington into
    the organization in late 2004 while both were prisoners at New Folsom Prison. James
    required Washington swear an oath of loyalty and obedience to James and to JIS. After
    his release from prison several weeks after taking the JIS oath, Washington recruited
    Patterson and Samana into JIS and had them swear oaths of allegiance and obedience
    to JIS. After forming this cell, Washington and Patterson conducted about a dozen
    armed robberies of gas stations to obtain money for the group’s planned attacks in the
    Los Angeles area.

    Samana researched targets and prepared a document called “Modes of Attack.”
    The document listed “LAX and Consulate of Zion,” “Military Targets,” “Army Recruiting
    centers throughout the county,” “Military base in Manhattan Beach” and “Campsite of

    After Torrance Police investigators linked Washington and Patterson to a gas
    station robbery, various Jihadist documents were found at a South Los Angeles
    apartment where they lived. In addition to the “Modes of Attack” document,
    investigators discovered a document titled “Notoriety Moves,” which contained a Jamesauthored
    statement to be given to the media after a deadly attack. The proposed press
    statement reads, in part, “This incident is the first in a series of incidents to come in a
    plight to defend and propagate traditional Islam in its purity.” The document also warns
    “sincere Muslims” to avoid a series of targets, including “Those Jewish and non-Jewish
    supporters of an Israeli state.”

    The investigation into the terrorist conspiracy was led by the FBI's Long Beach
    Joint Terrorism Task Force, whose participating agencies include the Los Angeles
    Police Department; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Torrance Police
    Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; the Long Beach Police
    Department; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S.
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Los Angeles Port Police; U.S. Customs
    and Border Protection; the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; the Defense
    Criminal Investigative Service; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and the
    Redondo Beach Police Department.

    Substantial assistance during the investigation was provided by the Los Angeles
    County District Attorney's Office, Bureau of Investigations; the California Department of
    Corrections and Rehabilitation; the California Department of Justice; the Drug
    Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and the
    Department of Defense.

    The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office worked collaboratively with the
    United States Attorney’s Office during the investigation.


    Release No. 9-024
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index