Was Matthew Aaron Llaneza a radical leftist? An anarchist? A Muslim convert? As I write this, his motivating ideology is unclear. Unlike some on the Left, I strenuously avoid jumping to conclusions about terrorists' or mass murderers' political affiliations before all the facts are in.
Perhaps Llaneza was an apolitical madman. But given the facts we do know, that appears unlikely (at least the apolitical part).
What is clear, according to the FBI, is that Llaneza intended to work with the Taliban to bomb an Oakland bank. He then intended to frame "right wing" groups for the bombing and spark a "civil war." Unfortunately for Llaneza--and fortunately for the city of Oakland and the bank--his dalliance with what he thought was the Taliban was, in reality, an FBI sting operation.
That's right, folks: get ready for more howls of "entrapment" from slick American Islamist spokesmen. Here's more details, from FBI.gov:
Stay informed. Get Stakelbeck on Terror Weekly
Federal agents arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, age 28, of San Jose, California, this morning after he allegedly attempted to detonate a vehicle-borne explosive device at a bank branch in Oakland.
Llaneza’s arrest was the culmination of an undercover operation during which he was closely monitored by the FBI’s South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force. Unbeknownst to Llaneza, the explosive device that he allegedly attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public. Llaneza was charged this morning by criminal complaint with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.
The arrest was announced by Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and FBI Special Agent in Charge, San Francisco Field Office, David J. Johnson.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on November 30, 2012, Llaneza met with a man who led him to believe he was connected with the Taliban and the mujahidin in Afghanistan. In reality, this man was an undercover FBI agent. At this initial meeting, Llaneza proposed conducting a car-bomb attack against a bank in the San Francisco Bay Area. He proposed structuring the attack to make it appear that the responsible party was an umbrella organization for a loose collection of anti-government militias and their sympathizers. Llaneza’s stated goal was to trigger a governmental crackdown, which he expected would trigger a right-wing counter-response against the government followed by, he hoped, civil war.
Read it all for more specifics on the plot. Think the mainstream media will pick this story up and run with it, maybe ask some questions? Think again. Move along, nothing to see here, folks.
For the truth about homegrown terror, check out my book, The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat.