Fil-Am accused in terror plot pleads not guilty

RIVERSIDE – The Filipino-American accused of being involved in a plot to join Al-Qaeda insurgents for military training in Afghanistan appeared in federal court for the first time, with his fellow defendants on Wednesday, December 19, to plead not guilty on charges of conspiracy to support terrorists.

Ralph Deleon, a 23-year-old permanent resident from Ontario, CA, is among the four men accused of planning to unleash ‘violent jihad’ against US armed forces and other Americans abroad, in a criminal case based on intelligence gathered from a paid FBI informant.

Other defendants include Pomona resident Sohiel Omar Kabir, Riverside resident Arifeen David Gojali, and Upland resident Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales.

The 35-year-old Kabir is the alleged ringleader of the group.  He was captured in Afghanistan on November 17, a day after the three other men were arrested by federal agents in Chino, California.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the FBI, Kabir recruited two co-conspirators Deleon and Santana who were to join him in training under Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.  The FBI said that the two men were influenced by Kabir to convert to Islam before he flew abroad in 2011.  The pair, in turn, allegedly recruited the fourth man, Gojali, to complete the group.

The FBI’s complaint alleged that Deleon and Santana divulged to an FBI informant their plans to travel to Afghanistan to carry out ‘violent jihad’ on American targets.  Deleon was quoted by the informant, saying that he wanted to fight in the front lines or carry explosives. Santana allegedly wanted to become a sniper.

The three co-conspirators were captured by authorities two days before their allegedly planned flight from Mexico, to join Kabir overseas.

Each of the four men is charged with a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.  The maximum penalty is 15 years of jail time.

In a hearing in early December (in Riverside County that lasted no more than five minutes) all four defendants pleaded not guilty on charges held against them.  A tentative trial date was then set for August 2013.

In the meantime, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles has declined to make any comment on the case of Deleon, as they were still awaiting further developments on the matter.

A big part of the FBI’s case relies heavily on conversations recorded or recounted second hand by a paid FBI informant, a convicted drug dealer.

The defense counsel have raised their argument against the prosecution, saying that the four alleged conspirators were entrapped by the FBI by using a paid informant.

Kabir was captured in a military raid in Kabul that involved US and Afghan military troops.  The Pentagon reported that Kabir put up ‘fierce physical resistance, including an attempt to grab grenades and to seize other weapons from his captors.

In the ensuing confrontation, the captive suffered a fractured eye socket, facial lacerations, and other injuries.  The defense contended that because of the injuries from the altercation, Kabir was left with memory problems, distorted vision, and difficulty keeping his balance, along with a previous diagnosis of epilepsy and separate medical issues that arose from a previous car accident.

The FBI say that Kabir is a naturalized US citizen born in Afghanistan, and lived in Pomona, California. With reports from Joseph Pimentel / AJPress and wires

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  • kanoy

    ABHE IS GUILTY A S SIN,,,THANK GOD HE GOT CAUGHT WITFF HIS BUDDIES IN THE USA AND NOT HERE HE WILL ALREADY BE FOUND GUILTY AND IN FEDERAL PRISON DOING HIS TIME,,,BEFORE AMPPATUANS CASE EVEN BEGINS….IF THE FIL-AM GETS 20 YEARS…HE WILL HAVE SERVED 10 YEARS BEFORE AMPATUANS LAWYERS FINISH THEIR OPENING ARGUPEMENTS….3 YEARS NOW AND STILL FIESTA TIME ZZZZZZZ WAITING ON ALL THE ”EYE WITNESSES” TO DIE OR BE MURDERED

  • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

    If he’s not a US citizen, he’s not a “Filipino-American.” He’s a Filipino immigrant living in the US.
    That’s why the Philippine Consulate is involved.
    Citizenship makes a difference in cases like this.
    PDI should get it right.

    • kanoy

       of course you are right

    • beerhunters

      No. He is a permanent resident of Ontario Canada. in other words, he is an illegal immigrant to the US.

      • Ncarreonjr

        He is from Ontario CA, not Canada.

      • beerhunters

        thanks for the clarification

      • kanoy

        STILL THE QUESTION IS,,,WHY IS THE RP CONSULATE MEDDLING IN USA AFFAIRS?

        Ontario is a city located in south west San Bernardino County, California

        The FBI has detained four Southern California men

        FBI has also alleged that the men visited a shooting range many times. Deleon intended to be on the leading edge of the planned attacks on US installations overseas, telling an FBI undercover agent that he wants to use the explosive C-4 in attacks.

         Kabir has reportedly been arrested in Afghanistan. He is a US citizen who was born in Afghanistan.

        Deleon is a US citizen who was born in the Philippines, while Santana, also a US citizen, was born in Mexico. Gojali was born in the US.

      • beerhunters

        I agree! The philippines should stop meddling in other countries’ internal affairs! Ralph Deleon is an american citizen and please stop referring to him as Fil-American to accentuate his ethnicity because nobody refers also to President Obama as Kenyan-American.

      • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

        Deleon was born in the Philippines and is a permanent US resident but not a naturalized US citizen. So he’s a Filipino living in the US, which is why the Philippine consulate is monitoring the case.

      • kanoy

         THE USA….FBI….HOMELAND SECURITY….KNOWS WHO ARE CITIZENS AND WHO ARE NOT AND PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO ONE OF THE USA TOP NEWSPAPERS L A TIMES CONCERNING DELEON AND CLEARLY IT READS..BORN IN PHILIPPINES…NOW A US CITIZEN MEANING HE SWORE AN OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE USA..GOODBYE RP…..Deleon intended to be on the leading edge of the planned attacks on US
        installations overseas, telling an FBI undercover agent that he wants to
        use the explosive C-4 in attacks.

         Kabir has reportedly been arrested in Afghanistan. He is a US citizen
        who was born in Afghanistan.

        Deleon is a US citizen who was born in the Philippines, while Santana,
        also a US citizen, was born in Mexico. Gojali was born in the US.

  • sh1seadad

    Leftist trader

    • joboni96

      still a kolonisadong utak
      preaching cia mythology
      u.s. navy collaborator

      • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

         Paranoid bobo si joboni96.

      • joboni96

        oh
        si bopols cia kano na naman

      • sh1seadad

        Do not be so paranoid joboni

      • joboni96

        do not be soo collaborating

        mahiya ka naman sa mga ninunu mo

  • joboni96

    praning na talaga
    imperyalistang u.s.
    sa daming kasalanan sa mundo

    whistling in the dark
    ghost behind dark alleys and
    bogeymen everywhere

    sabi nga ng intsik switik
    tigreng papel
    tsinese paper pa

    • beerhunters

      “Allah is our Lord, Mohammed is our Leader, Qur’an is our Constitution, Shariah is our Law, Shahadat(martyrdom) is our Desire, Jihad is our Way, To Lie to and Decieve the unbelieversINFIDELS and Chop Off their hands and heads wherever we find them-is our Bounden Duty.” Allahu Akbar!

    • http://twitter.com/Joe_The_Kano Joe Kano

       Poly-Sci flunk-out in action.

      • joboni96

        oh
        si bopols cia kano na naman

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