Four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans overseas and in the United States by joining Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, federal officials said Monday
According to a federal complaint unsealed Monday during their initial appearances, Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, introduced two other California men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased Al Qaeda leader. The two, Ralph Deleon, 23, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, converted to Islam in 2010 and began engaging with Kabir and others online in discussions about jihad, including posting radical content to Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments. In one online conversation, Santana told an FBI undercover agent that he wanted to commit jihad and expressed interest in a jihadist training camp in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Authorities allege Kabir traveled to Afghanistan and communicated with Santana and Deleon so he could arrange for their travel to join him and meet with his contacts for terror organizations. They later recruited 21-year-old Arifeen David Gojali.