'Christian Zionism and Jewish Extremism'

Tuesday, February 04, 2003



A member of the Jewish Defense League pleaded guilty today to two federal charges related to two criminal conspiracies to manufacture and detonate bombs at a mosque and a field office of United States Congressman Darrell Issa of California.

Earl Leslie Krugel, 60, of Reseda, California, pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City with the purpose of preventing the congregants from using their house of worship. Krugel also pleaded guilty to one count of carrying an explosive in relation to a conspiracy to bomb Congressman Issa's office. Krugel pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew in Los Angeles.

"As this successful prosecution makes clear, acts of terror targeted at individuals because of their race, religion or national origin will not be tolerated in the United States - they will be aggressively investigated, swiftly prosecuted and firmly punished," said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

"Today's guilty plea is a reminder that we will pursue and prosecute anyone who targets others because of racial, religious or ethnic hatred," said Ralph F. Boyd Jr., Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Department will not tolerate the use of violence to terrorize minorities living in the United States."

"I hope that today's guilty pleas help to demonstrate to this nation's Muslim and Arab-Americans, especially those targeted in these schemes, that we will investigate and prosecute terrorist acts directed against them, just as we investigate and prosecute terrorist acts directed at other minority groups," said United States Attorney Debra W. Yang. "The violent schemes at the center of this case are repulsive precisely because they were based on religious and racial hatred. The singling out of Congressman Issa, a dedicated public servant, is particularly offensive. My office and the entire Justice Department are committed to protecting the civil rights of all members of our society."

"The FBI is gratified that Mr. Krugel has admitted his guilt in this matter," said Ronald Iden, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI. "Let it be known that acts of terrorism, regardless of the nationality or religion of either the terrorists or their intended victims, will always be investigated with the full resources of the FBI."

In a plea agreement filed last week, Krugel admitted that he conspired with JDL leader Irving David Rubin, who committed suicide last year while awaiting trial on charges in this case.

Krugel recruited a young man to join the JDL and later to participate in bomb schemes that would target Arab political and religious institutions. That person later contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and became an informant.The informant attended a meeting with Krugel and Rubin on October 19, 2001, where they discussed bombing Arab institutions, including the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). During subsequent meetings in October and November, the informant was instructed to locate and photograph the MPAC office in Los Angeles. The informant was also instructed to purchase some of the bomb components, including a particular brand of gunpowder and pipes. Krugel later stored all of the bomb components in his garage.In the days leading up to the planned bombing, Rubin told the informant that the target would be a Los Angeles-area mosque, rather than the MPAC office. At the final meeting between the defendants and the informant on December 11, Rubin said that the targets would be the King Fahd Mosque and one of the offices of Congressman Issa. Rubin and Krugel were arrested by members of the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force after the final meeting.

Judge Lew is scheduled to sentence Krugel on May 19. As a result of the weapons charge related to the plot to bomb Congressman Issa's office, Krugel faces a mandatory sentence of 10 years in federal prison. The civil rights charge related to the plot to bomb the mosque could add as much as 10 more years to the 10-year mandatory sentence.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Los Angeles Police Department; the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department; the United States Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the United States Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service; IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Monrovia Police Department.


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Milton Frihetsson, 7:18 AM | link | |