SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two men pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges alleging they planned terrorist attacks against military facilities, the Israeli Consulate and other targets in the Los Angeles area.
"In the name of Allah, I plead not guilty," Washington said before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato.
Prosecutors contend the plot was orchestrated by Washington, Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana, 21, at the behest of Kevin James, an inmate of the California State Prison, Sacramento. James founded the radical group Jamiyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh (search), or JIS.
All four men face counts of conspiracy to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism, kill armed service members and murder foreign officials, among other charges, according to an indictment
All but Samana are American born and Muslim converts. Counterterrorism officials have said they found no evidence directly connecting the group to Al Qaeda or other foreign terror networks.
Samana, a Pakistani national, pleaded not guilty to federal charges last week. He was imprisoned for attempted robbery in Los Angeles County, prosecutors said.
Washington, Patterson and Samana — who attended the same Inglewood mosque — allegedly conducted surveillance of military sites, synagogues, the Israeli Consulate and El Al airline facilities in the Los Angeles area.