Former CSUN student accused of plotting terror

Daily Sundial

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A trial date of Oct. 24, 2006 is set for a former CSUN student and three others accused of plotting terror attacks against several Los Angeles-area sites, according to court documents and news reports.

Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21, was indicted on Aug. 31 along with co-defendants Kevin James, Levar Washington, and Hammad Samana. Patterson is now in Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

The case was scheduled to start on Oct. 24, but Winston McKesson, Patterson’s attorney, said that the trial would probably be delayed.

According to John Chandler, CSUN spokesperson, Patterson attended CSUN in Fall 2002 as a freshman business administration major.

All four defendants will stand trial together and are charged with conspiracy to levy war against the United States government through terrorism, conspiracy to kill members of the United States government uniformed services and conspiracy to kill foreign officials.

The defendants are also charged with interference with commerce by robbery, conspiracy to possess and discharge firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence, using and carrying a firearm in connection with a crime of violence and aiding abetting, according to court documents.

In 1997, James, while in prison, allegedly founded an organization Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Shaheeh that preached radical beliefs of Islam, according to court documents. James allegedly preached to members of his radical organization to attack enemies of Islam, which included the U.S. government and Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel.

Washington joined JIS while in prison and was paroled on or about Nov. 29, 2004. James advised Washington to recruit people without any criminal records that will help JIS in their cause, to acquire firearms with silencers and to find contacts for explosives.

Washington later met Patterson and Samana in a mosque in Inglewood, according to news reports. Patterson used his computer to conduct research of areas they were allegedly planning to attack. Patterson used his computer to research El Al, national airline of Israel.

Patterson also allegedly researched the Israeli Consulate and Jewish events for Yom Kippur in Los Angeles, according to the indictment.

The defendants also conducted research and surveillance on military institutions, such as recruitment centers and military bases, according to charges in the indictment.

Beginning on or about May 30, Patterson allegedly started robbing gas stations and convenience stores, armed with a shotgun, in areas such as Los Angeles, Playa Del Rey, Torrance, Bellflower, Pico Rivera, Walnut, Playa Vista and Fullerton.

The alleged robberies were initiated to help finance their cause. On or about June 29, Patterson purchased a .223 caliber rifle, according to the indictment.

Oscar Areliz can be reached at Oscar.Areliz@csun.edu.