Published On: Mon, Feb 11th, 2013

FBI stop Matt Llaneza in Oakland bomb plot, wanted to frame Tea Party or right wing group

A 28-year-old man was arrested Friday in Oakland after he allegedly tried to detonate a vehicle-borne explosive device at a bank, authorities said.

Matthew Aaron Llaneza, a resident of San Jose, allegedly selected a Bank of America branch as the site for an intended terrorist attack, but he was thwarted by a sting operation that rendered the device impotent, authorities said.

On Nov. 30, Llaneza met with a man who led him to believe he was connected with the Taliban and the mujahidin in Afghanistan. The man was actually an undercover FBI agent who monitored Llaneza closely over subsequent months, according to the federal complaint against him.

Llaneza was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against property used in an activity that affects interstate or foreign commerce.

FBI agent Christopher Monika said in an affidavit that Llaneza initially proposed structuring his attack to make it appear that an “umbrella organization for a loose collection of anti-government militias and their sympathizers” was behind the attack.

“Llaneza’s stated goal was to trigger a governmental crackdown, which he expected would trigger a right-wing counter-response against the government followed by, he hoped, civil war,” Monika wrote.

Authorities said Llaneza initially wanted to attack the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco but determined there was too much security around that location.

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

Photo/Vectorportal via wikimedia commons

NBC reports that the one-time window washer suffered from bipolar disease and substance abuse, along with being paranoid that people were out to get him.

“Did the FBI take a [mentally ill] aspirational terrorist, make him an operational terrorist and then thwart their own plot?” civil rights expert, Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Santa Clara asked. “CAIR has been saying this for years now: It’s the FBI’s job to stop operational terrorists. It’s not the FBI’s job to enable aspirational ones.”

Llaneza told officers that he suffered from depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, resulting from “drug cartels attempting to recruit him into their gangs in Arizona.” Records show that Llaneza had once lived in Mesa, Ariz., and he in fact told investigators he had recently moved to San Jose.

He also stated he was an “Armorist” and knew how to assemble firearms. He was placed on a mental health hold, the documents state.



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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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