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Calif. men charged in terror plot had gone to Afghanistan
Four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans overseas and in the United States by joining al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities say four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans overseas and in the United States by joining al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says the defendants are under arrest for plotting to bomb government facilities and public places.
According to the federal complaint unsealed Monday during initial appearances, 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir introduced two other California men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric and U.S. citizen who was killed in Yemen in 2011 by missiles fired from a U.S. Predator drone aircraft.
Authorities allege Kabir, a Pomona, Calif., naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, traveled to Afghanistan and communicated with the two — 23-year-old Ralph Deleon, of Ontario, and 21-year-old Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, of Upland — so he could arrange for their travel to join him and meet with his contacts for terror organizations.
They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali, of Riverside.
The complaint says Deleon and Santana told an FBI source of their plans to engage in "violent jihad."
Santana is a permanent resident born in Mexico, the Los Angeles Times reported, and Deleon is a permanent resident born in the Philippines.
Santan, Gojali and Deleon were apprehended Friday by authorities with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. They appeared before a magistrate Monday in federal court in Riverside.
Kabir was taken into custody in Afghanistan. If convicted, the men face up to 15 years in federal prison.