Four California men charged with aiding Islamic jihad
November 20, 2012
An FBI investigation alleges that the four men, two American citizens and two lawful residents, planned to travel to Afghanistan to engage in “violent jihad.” The defendants discussed plots with a confidential FBI source to carry out violent attacks on potential targets that included overseas American military personnel and bases.
On Friday, the Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Ralph Deleon of Ontario, Miguel Santana Vidriales of Upland and Arifeen David Gojali of Riverside. Vidriales and Gojali are both 21-years-old and Deleon is 23. 34-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir, an Afghan native and naturalized American citizen, allegedly introduced Deleon and Vidriales, who later recruited Gojali, to violent Islamic material. Kabir is currently detained in Afghanistan.
Kabir arrived in Afghanistan in July, where he allegedly contacted terrorist organizations and arranged for Vidriales and Deleon to join him in his jihadist campaign. Vidriales and Deleon planned to bring Gojali along to Afghanistan.
Vidriales, Deleon and Gojail each prepared for their terrorist missions overseas by training at Southern California firearm and paintball facilities.
All four defendants are charged with five federal crimes, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the United States and conspiracy to bomb place of public use and government facilities.
Each face a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. Vidriales, Deleon and Gojali appeared in the Riverside U.S. District Court Monday.