This is looking increasingly like a very, very lucky find. An update on this story. “2 Men’s Ties to Group of Extremists Investigated,” from the LA Times, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Counterterrorism officials are investigating the possibility that two men recently arrested in a string of South Bay gas station robberies may have been part of a local group of extremists with ties to prison or street gangs, local and federal law enforcement authorities said Thursday.
Although there is no evidence of a specific terrorist plot, law enforcement officials say materials recovered at the South Los Angeles apartment of one robbery suspect, Levar Haney Washington, 25, suggest that an attack might have been planned at any of nearly two dozen addresses, including National Guard recruiting facilities, two synagogues and a building believed to be the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles.
During an extensive search of Washington’s apartment last week, authorities said they found no explosives or bomb-making materials, but did recover some bulletproof vests and undisclosed “jihadist” materials not readily available via the Internet or other public sources, as well as the list of addresses that appeared to be unlikely targets for a simple robbery.
Washington, a Rollin’ 60s gang member who was convicted in Orange County in 1999 of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and belonging to a street gang, converted to Islam in prison. His alleged accomplice, Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21, who has no criminal record, is believed to be a more recent convert….
Raising investigators’ suspicions was their discovery that Patterson, until recently, worked at a duty-free gift shop at Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal, where another possible target on the list, El Al Israel Airlines, has its ticket counter.
Patterson, who worked at the airport shop for about six months, left the job early this year. Sources said there was no evidence that he was at the airport to survey it as a possible target.
Instead, they said they are investigating his time at LAX because the airport has long been known as a terrorist target and the El Al ticket counter was the site of a July 4, 2002, rampage in which an Egyptian immigrant shot and killed two bystanders.
A week after the FBI confirmed that its Joint Terrorism Task Force was investigating the two Muslim converts for possible links to extremism, authorities emphasized Thursday that the fast-moving investigation was still in its early stages.
At the same time, several sources said there is a possibility that others could be arrested in the case. Unlike the ongoing federal investigation in Lodi, Calif., where authorities suspect at least two individuals supported terrorism by attending overseas training camps, the probe of Washington and Patterson is specifically aimed at determining whether they were involved in plotting a terrorist act, law enforcement officials said.
Last week, Torrance police arrested Washington and Patterson in connection with a string of gas station robberies from May 30 to July 3. The arrests occurred during a stakeout by detectives, and subsequently led to a search of Washington’s apartment on West 27th Street.
There, authorities said, they discovered what was described as “jihadist” literature, as well as documents with the addresses of numerous sites, including National Guard locations and the “Consulate of Zion.” Authorities surmise that is a reference to Israel’s consulate in Los Angeles, since the list allegedly found in Washington’s apartment was of Southern California locations.