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Third man pleads guilty to terrorism conspiracy against U.S.
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11:06, December 18, 2007

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A third man pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to launch terror attacks against U.S. targets.

Gregory Patterson, 23, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and discharge a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, stemming from a series of 10 robberies that netted "a couple thousand" dollars, prosecutors said.

Patterson faces up to 25 years in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas McCormick said in Santa Ana, California, where Patterson was being tried along with two other men who pleaded guilty to the same terrorism charges on Friday.

Patternson and the other two men, 28-year-old Levar Haney Washington and 31-year-old Kevin James, were members of the radical Islamic organization known as Jam'iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (JIS) while incarcerated at a California prison in the late 1990s.

The three men, along with Hammad Samana, were indicted in 2005 for what authorities said was a plot to attack American military facilities, Israeli government offices and synagogues in the Los Angeles area.

Samana has been declared incompetent to stand trial and is confined to a federal medical facility until he improves enough to stand trial, McCormick said.

All but Samana, a legal U.S. resident from Pakistan, are U.S. citizens.

According to McCormick, James recruited Washington while both men were in prison, and Washington then recruited Patterson and Samana after he was released.

After the men swore oaths to JIS, they set out to research a number of military recruiting stations and other facilities, including Jewish synagogues and a place referred to as a "camp of Zion."

From May 30, 2005, through July 5, 2005, Washington, Patterson and Samana -- switching on and off from their roles as armed robber or getaway driver -- used a shotgun in pulling the gas station heists, McCormick said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples said the men at most netted "a couple thousand" dollars.

James admitted during his court appearance last week that he founded JIS in prison based on his interpretation of Islam, and that he drew up his targets in retaliation for their policies regarding Moslems.

McCormick said the case stands out in the post 9-11 environment.

"This is certainly an unusual case in that it represents an interdiction of a terrorist plot that was significantly under way," McCormick said.

Source: Xinhua



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