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Californian Taliban-Supporter Charged in Bomb Plot

An American convert to Islam was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in a plot to bomb a Bank of American Branch in Oakland, California.

Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, was arrested on February 8, 2013, after the he attempted to detonate a dummy bomb which he constructed with the help of an undercover FBI agent, whom he thought was connected to the Taliban.

A former Marine with a history of mental illness, Llaneza “stated that he supports the Taliban, wants to engage in violent jihad and wants to conduct a terrorist attack insider the United States,” according to court documents.  According to federal officials, he had hoped that the bombing would be blamed on anti-government militias and that the attack would force a government crackdown eventually leading to civil war.

He had planned to travel to Afghanistan via Pakistan in the aftermath of the bombing in order to train Taliban militants.

Llaneza has a previous criminal history of state-level firearms violations.  Public records relating to that incident highlight a history of suicidal tendencies and drug and alcohol abuse.

If convicted, Llaneza faces the possibility of life in prison.

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