FRESNO (CBS SF) — The Modesto man who was arrested three days before Christmas for allegedly planning a terror attack on San Francisco’s Pier 39 was indicted by a grand jury Thursday in U.S District Court in Fresno.
26-year-old former U.S. Marine Everitt Aaron Jameson was indicted on a charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Jameson was arrested on the morning of December 22 after he allegedly detailed his plans for the terror attack with an undercover FBI agent whom he believed was associated with the senior leadership of the Islamic State of Iraq, or ISIS.
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According to the criminal complaint unsealed December 22, during the nearly two-month-long investigation, Jameson “has espoused radical jihadi beliefs, including authoring social media posts that are supportive of terrorism, communicating with people he believes share his jihadi views and offering to provide services to such people…”
Rifles, a handgun and ammunition were also found during the search of his home.
Agents said a suicide note written by Jameson was also found at the home, which took credit for what was to be the Pier 39 attack. The note read, “You all have brought this upon yourselves,” and denounced the recent announcement by President Donald Trump that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
According to published reports, Jameson’s lawyer claims his client is mentally ill and didn’t have the means to carry out the alleged plot.
The Fresno Bee reported on Thursday that defense attorney Charles Lee said that during a search of Jameson’s home, authorities were unable to find any bomb-making material. He also said the guns found in Jameson’s home belonged to a relative who owned them legally and had them in a locked gun case that Jameson didn’t have access to.
Lee added that the FBI built their case only on statements Jameson posted on his Facebook page.
Jameson’s alleged Christmas Day plot involved setting off explosives remotely in one area of Pier 39 and then mowing people down with automatic rifle fire as they fled.
The complaint said Jameson suggested to the undercover agent that Christmas Day would be a “perfect day” for an attack. Jameson also told the agent “he did not have and did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die.”
Jameson is being held in the Fresno County Jail without bail pending his trial and is due to be arraigned in federal court Friday.
If convicted, Jameson faces up to 20 years in prison.