SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) “” Levar Haley Washington was finally free on parole after years in prison for robbery “” but unbeknownst to authorities, the Muslim convert was already plotting more serious crimes.
Washington was determined to help his religious mentor and fellow convict Kevin James plan jihad-style attacks on military sites, synagogues and other targets, prosecutors said. James, who was still in prison, instructed Washington to recruit five men, obtain two pistols with silencers and make sure one of the men was trained in bomb-making.
“Be careful (brother), there are agents everywhere looking for (Al-Qaida) recruiters or any other threat to national security,” James wrote to Washington in 2005. “Your squad will be engaged on all levels.”
Police uncovered the plot later that year when they connected it to a string of gas station robberies in the Los Angeles area. On Friday, James and Washington pleaded guilty to conspiring to levy war against the United States and affirmed that the elements of the plot, as presented by prosecutors, were true.