Jewish militant to plead guilty to bomb plot

Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles

Tuesday February 4, 2003

The Guardian,3604,888390,00.html

A senior official in the Jewish Defence League is to

plead guilty today to a plot to blow up a mosque in

the Los Angeles area and the office of a

Lebanese-American congressman. 

Earl Krugel, 60, a dental hygienist, will make the

plea in exchange for a 10- to 20-year term rather than

a mandatory 40-year sentence. 

His co-defendent, Irv Rubin, the national chairman of

the JDL, died last November after cutting his throat

and leaping from a balcony while awaiting trial in

jail in Los Angeles. 

Krugel and Rubin were arrested in December 2001 after

an FBI informer had delivered explosives to Krugel and

had taped discussions of the plot. Bomb parts,

instruction manuals and anti-Arab literature were also

found at Krugel's house. 

Rubin, chairman of the JDL since 1985, had allegedly

given the informant, a young JDL recruit, instructions

to bomb the King Fahd mosque in Culver City, south of

Beverly Hills. 

A list of other "filthy mosques" - as Krugel called

them on tape - had been drawn up to give Arabs what he

described as a "wake-up call". 

Part of the plot was to blow up the San Clemente

offices of Darrell Issa, a Lebanese-American

Republican congressman. There was also a plan to blow

up the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles. 

Mr Issa welcomed the plea. "Americans reject

extremists who seek influence through the use of

terror, whatever the source, at home and abroad," he


The King Fahd mosque, where security has been stepped

up since the plot became public, also welcomed the


Krugel, who has recently married a French woman, will

agree not to have contact with any JDL members or

former members after his release as part of the deal.

His lawyers said he had accepted the deal because the

climate in the US was not sympathetic to a defendant

in a terrorism case. 

Founded in 1968 by Rabbi Meir Kahane, the JDL once had

18,000 members with its logo of a fist inside the Star

of David and its slogans of: "Every Jew with a .22"

and "Keep Jews alive with a .45." 

But membership has dwindled as the league has been

shunned as an embarrassment for its extremist views by

mainstream Jewish organistions in the US. 

Part of the reason for the bomb plot, according to the

FBI informant, a 22-year-old former member of the US

Navy called Danny Gillis, was Rubin's desire to show

that the JDL was still "alive in a militant way."


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