Jewish Defense League members indicted in alleged bombing plot

Grand jury: Arab-American congressman, mosque targeted

MSNBC, Associated Press/January 10, 2002

Los Angeles -- A federal grand jury indicted the chairman and a member of the Jewish Defense League on Thursday on charges of conspiring to bomb the office of an Arab-American member of Congress and a prominent Los Angeles mosque.

The indictment alleges that JDL Chairman Irv Rubin, 56, and Earl Krugel, 59, recruited another person to plant the bombs. That person went to the FBI, authorities have said.

Rubin and Krugel were arrested Dec. 11 and are being held without bail. The nine-count indictment supersedes charges filed shortly after the men were taken into custody.

"The government has blown this completely out of proportion and is acting in a climate of hysteria," said Mark Werksman, Krugel's attorney. "This was all talk between Krugel and Rubin and an instigator who was working at the direction of the FBI."

The alleged targets were King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, Calif., and the field office of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

The unidentified informant met with Krugel a dozen times from Oct. 17 to Dec. 11 and went shopping with Krugel for bomb components, which were stored in Krugel's garage, the indictment alleges.

Rubin, who attended some of the meetings, was described as approving the plans and giving directions to the recruit.

"This is a political case in which the government is trying to raise this to the level of the actions of September 11, which is outrageous," said Rubin's attorney, Peter Morris. "It is evident [from the indictment] that Irv Rubin did not develop, create or mastermind the alleged bomb plot."

The indictment charged the men with conspiracy, conspiracy to use a destructive device, attempted arson, attempted arson at a U.S. government facility, possession of a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence, solicitation to commit a crime of violence, possession of a machine gun and possession of an unregistered firearm.

The charges carry maximum penalties of at least two life terms in prison for each defendant.

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