A United States federal judge in southern California handed down a 70-month prison term on Monday to Hammad Riaz Samana, the fourth Muslim member of an anti-Jewish terrorist cell to be sentenced. Other members of the cell are serving up to 20 years in jail.
Samana and his co-conspirators planned to attack synagogues, the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, El Al Airlines and military bases. They planned to attack on the dates of Jewish holidays in order to maximize casualties.
The Jami'yyat Ul-Islam Is-Shaheeh terrorist cell was headed by Kevin James and included Samana, Levar Haley Washington and Gregory Patterson. They carried out 11 armed robberies on gas stations and used the cash to buy weapons before being arrested four years ago. Investigators in Washington’s apartment found bulletproof vests, knives, Jihad literature and lists of potential targets.
Washington is serving 22 years in jail, while James was sentenced to 16 years and Patterson was sentenced to 12.5 years. Judge Cormac Carney acknowledged that the 70-month jail sentence was lighter than the terms handed to other members of the cell and explained that he took into account the terrorist’s mental condition.
Samana, a native of Pakistan and a U.S. national, had conducted computer research to hit targets and was the getaway driver in at least one of the robberies. He was recruited at a mosque in Los Angeles.