A domestic terror plot aimed at “multiple targets” in Southern California was disrupted by federal and local law enforcement agencies, sources told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.
One man, described as a U.S. military veteran, was caught in an online sting operation and arrested by the FBI, according to law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case with the media.
It’s unclear how far the plot got, but sources said the man had specific targets, including one in Long Beach. The sources said he had converted to Islam, but it was not known if that was related to the plot.
“It sounds like he tried to connect with other like-minded folks online,” one source said.
An official who said the plot involved “multiple targets” declined to elaborate further. A news conference to discuss the case has been scheduled for 1 p.m. in downtown Los Angeles.
Representatives from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California, the FBI, the LAPD, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Long Beach Police Department are expected to speak. A source in the Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the agency was involved in the surveillance and detention of the suspect.
The development comes less than 48 hours after a gunman opened fire inside a San Diego County synagogue, killing one woman and wounding several others in what law enforcement officials are investigating as an anti-Semitic hate crime.
Southern California has been the scene of several terror incidents.
In 2002, a gunman killed two people at a busy ticket counter of El Al Israel Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport.
In 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, entered a holiday gathering for county employees at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino and, using rifles purchased by a friend, killed 14 people and injured 22 others.
Authorities alleged that Farook and a friend had plotted additional terror attacks targeting students at a nearby community college and drivers on the 91 Freeway.
Per: LA Times