WASHINGTON – Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested on Friday a former US marine who was planning to attack a tourist pier in San Francisco on Christmas Day in the name of the Islamic State.
Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, became a suspect of US authorities in late September because of his postings on social medial in support of jihadists, according to court documents entered Friday by the FBI.
Jameson, for example, celebrated on Facebook the attack that left eight people dead on Oct. 31 in Manhattan, perpetrated by a man who also said he was acting on behalf of the IS.
It was a trusted FBI informer who tipped off the agency about Jameson’s cyber plotting.
In early December, an undercover FBI agent posing as an IS member got in touch with Jameson.
The man now in custody offered to do “whatever” in the name of the IS and particularly noted how his military experience in the “army of the infidels” equipped him to perpetrate the attack.
According to the FBI, Jameson spoke in that way about his time in the US Marine Corps in 2009, when he was discharged for “fraudulent enlistment” because he never mentioned his chronic asthma.
During his time in basic training with the marines, Jameson earned a “sharpshooter” qualification.
Asked by the undercover agent about some specific plan, Jameson spoke of attacking the touristic Pier 39 in San Francisco on Christmas Day.
Jameson, who had conceived a combined bombs and firearms attack, asked the undercover agent for a rifle and explosive material, and told him he was “ready to die.”
His plan was to make the bombs at a distant campsite, then store them in his house in Modesto, California.
But last Dec. 18, the ex-marine made contact with the undercover agent and told him “I also don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered,” so the FBI decided to search his home and get more information.
Found in the home of the ex-marine were a letter with multiple Islamic references taking responsibility for some acts, along with a document of his last will and testament, plus a number of arms and some ammunition.
During the search, the FBI agents detained Jameson, who told them of his support for the IS and said he was determined to launch an attack.
In a statement from the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that “today, our incredible law enforcement officers have once again helped thwart an alleged plot to kill Americans.”