Skip to comments.Federal Agents Arrest Man After He Attempts to Bomb Bank in Oakland
Posted on 02/11/2013 8:10:16 AM PST by Paladin2
OAKLAND, CAFederal agents arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, age 28, of San Jose, California, this morning after he allegedly attempted to detonate a vehicle-borne explosive device at a bank branch in Oakland.
Llanezas arrest was the culmination of an undercover operation during which he was closely monitored by the FBIs South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force. Unbeknownst to Llaneza, the explosive device that he allegedly attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public. Llaneza was charged this morning by criminal complaint with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.
The arrest was announced by Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and FBI Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Field Office, David J. Johnson.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on November 30, 2012, Llaneza met with a man who led him to believe he was connected with the Taliban and the mujahidin in Afghanistan. In reality, this man was an undercover FBI agent. At this initial meeting, Llaneza proposed conducting a car-bomb attack against a bank in the San Francisco Bay Area. He proposed structuring the attack to make it appear that the responsible party was an umbrella organization for a loose collection of anti-government militias and their sympathizers. Llanezas stated goal was to trigger a governmental crackdown, which he expected would trigger a right-wing counter-response against the government followed by, he hoped, civil war.
The complaint further alleges that Llaneza subsequently selected the Bank of America branch at 303 Hegenberger Road in Oakland as the target for the attack. Llaneza ultimately specified a spot next to a support column of the bank building as a good location for the bomb, expressed a desire for the bomb to bring down the entire bank building, and offered to drive the car bomb to the bank at the time of the attack.
According to the complaint, in January and February 2013, Llaneza and the undercover agent constructed the purported explosive device inside a sport utility vehicle (SUV) parked inside a storage facility in Hayward, California. As part of the process of assembling the device, Llaneza purchased two cell phones to be used in creating and operating the trigger device for the car bomb. One of these cell phones was incorporated into the trigger device itself. The other was reserved for use on the night of the attack.
The criminal complaint alleges that on the evening of February 7, 2013, Llaneza drove the SUV containing the purported explosive device to the target bank branch in Oakland. He parked the SUV beneath an overhang of the bank building where he armed the trigger device. He then proceeded on foot to a nearby location a safe distance from the bank building, where he met the undercover agent. Once there, Llaneza attempted to detonate the bomb by using the second cell phone he had purchased to place two calls to the trigger device attached to the car bomb. Federal agents then arrested him.
Llaneza made his initial appearance in federal court in Oakland this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu. The defendants next scheduled appearance is at 9:30 a.m. on February 13, 2013, for a bail hearing before Judge Ryu. If convicted on the charge contained in the criminal complaint, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of California. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBIs 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.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations. As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Oh ya sure, it was HIS idea.
I thought WMDs were chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons only. If mere explosives are WMDs, then there were tons of them in Iraq, and there still are, and they are in the hands of every Islamic state at this very moment. Police departments also have WMDs, and a lot of farmers have them too. (Called “stump remover.”)
Court records stemming from a 2011 weapons conviction show that the one-time Marine likely suffered from mental illness that included bouts of paranoia, suicidal tendencies, hallucinations and voices in his head, and had a vast working knowledge of weaponry.
Those same records show that Llanezas father long had concerns about his sons stability, keeping him at arms length after he returned to San Jose from several years living with grandparents in Arizona and having abruptly converted to Islam.
During the planning of the attack, Llaneza also allegedly said he would dance with joy when the bomb exploded. After the attack, Llaneza had intended to flee by boat to Pakistan and then travel to Afghanistan to train with Taliban fighters .
Records indicate that the U.S.-born Llaneza lived with his grandparents in Mesa, Ariz., until 2011, when he moved back to California to live with his father in North San Jose in an RV parked out front. During his time in Arizona, Llaneza described himself as an armorist who was proficient in weapons assembly, and records show that in February 2008 founded Sand Fire Tactical LLC, which he described in its articles of organization as an internet sales, light manufacturing firm located in Mesa.
The complaint describes Llaneza as a detail-oriented person intent on an eye-catching act of terrorism that he believed would foment civil unrest. Court records in Santa Clara County seemingly set the foundation for those thoughts after he was convicted in 2011 for illegally having an AK-47 assault rifle and accompanying high-capacity magazines he purportedly purchased and registered in Arizona.
That discovery came out of an emergency call April 17 that year to the home of Steve Llaneza, who had recently allowed his son to live in an RV outside. Appearing under the influence of alcohol and marijuana with a history of hard-drug use the son threatened to kill himself and was hospitalized under a mental health hold.
Ensuing investigations by San Jose police led to them finding the assault rifle and magazines, which prompted officers to take Matthew Llaneza out of the hospital and into custody. He was convicted of the weapons offenses, and given a suspended sentence after having served six months in County Jail.
During the investigation and a corresponding preliminary hearing, Llaneza was described as being in and out of mental-health treatment, instead self-medicating with medically-obtained marijuana. He told interrogating officers about suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress from what he said were attempts by Arizona gangs to recruit him, expressing a fear of drug cartels and saying, Someday you are going to find me dead in the desert.
By the time of that 2011 arrest, Llaneza told police he was going by the name of Tarq Kahn and that he believed secret police or government is trying to follow him. His father told investigators that his son had briefly served in the Marine Corps before being discharged for an undisclosed reason.
Initially, Llaneza proposed attacking the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or another unspecified target. He later decided that there would too much security at the Federal Reserve Bank and instead began scouting Bank of America locations in Oakland because of the symbolism of the name and his belief of Oakland being a center of protests."
Are you sure he wasn't BATF?
18 USC 2332a (2) the term "weapon of mass destruction" means--Which reminds me of the story I just read here relating to a .970 caliber firearm. I believe that is a destructive device, and hence, is also a weapon of mass destruction under federal law.
(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;
(B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
(C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title); or
(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life
18 USC 921 (4) The term "destructive device" means--
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas--
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
(C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.
Indeed. Another headline-only event that will quietly end before trial when the details of the entrapment come before the judge.
2 liter soda bottle (empty)
MRE heater powder
add dry ingredient
add liquid ingredient
cap container tightly
deploy device quickly
retreat behind suitable shielding device or structure
Disclaimer: Use as a noise producing device only. Do not hold in hand. Not recommended for pyrotechnic display (there is none..) Dispose of compromised container in approved recycling bin...