Los Angeles, December 12,
seems to us that, given the
timing ... the government's
action is part of an
overreaction to the Sept. 11
Attorney to accused JDL
terrorist Irv Rubin
JDL Members Arrested by FBI
By LINDA DEUTSCH, Associated Press
THE chairman of the
Jewish Defense League and a follower were
arrested after allegedly plotting to blow
up a Culver City mosque and the office of
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.,
federal authorities said today.
Rubin, 56, and a member of the
militant group, Earl Krugel, 59,
both of Los Angeles, were arrested late
Tuesday after the last component of the
bomb-- explosive powder-- was delivered to
Krugel's home, U.S. Attorney John S.
Other bomb components and weapons were
seized during a raid at Krugel's home.
Rubin and Krugel were expected to
appear in court later today.
They were booked for conspiracy to
destroy a building by means of an
explosive, which carries a maximum five
year sentence, and possession of a
destructive device related to a crime of
violence, which carries
a 30-year mandatory
A government source told authorities
about a series of meetings at which the
scheme to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in
Culver City and Issa's office was hammered
out, Gordon said.
The original target was to be the
Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los
Angeles but the source told authorities
there was another meeting last weekend and
it was changed.
"Prior to last night's arrest, the
source delivered explosive powder, the
last component required to begin
construction of the bomb, to Krugel's
residence," the U.S. attorney said.
The complaint against the pair quotes
Krugel as making a comment during a
meeting that Arabs "need a wakeup
Tajuddin Shuaib, director of the
King Fahd Mosque, said he was astonished
by the alleged plot, which came during
Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for
Muslims. He said no threats were received
by the mosque.
As many as 1,000 people attend the
mosque to pray there during the Ramadan
"I can't understand why people would do
such a thing. We are not against Jews. We
are not against anybody. We are like any
church or synagogue or temple," Shuaib
Issa, the grandson of Lebanese
immigrants, is on the House Committee on
International Relations and supports
Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Last month, he met with Lebanon's
president to discuss Hezbollah, which the
United States considers a terrorist group.
Issa, who represents northern San Diego
County, called on the group to renounce
Calls to Issa at his San Clemente
office were referred to Washington. A
spokesman didn't immediate return
Law enforcement agencies raided
Krugel's Reseda late Tuesday. Several
hours later, the screen door of the red
brick home was broken and part of the
fence had been knocked down. A menorah,
the Jewish candelabra used for Hanukkah,
was visible through a window and there was
an American flag on the mailbox.
never had anything to do with
explosives," said Rubin's attorney,
Peter Morris. "It seems to us
that, given the timing ... the
government's action is part of an
overreaction to the Sept. 11
Matthew McLaughlin, an FBI
spokesman in Los Angeles, "The tools might
have been in place to do this thing," he
said. "We don't put people in (custody)
just for superficial impressions. We put
people in place for their physical
Rubin's wife, Shelley, said by
telephone her husband and Krugel were
innocent. "They are law-abiding, good
people," she said.
Maher Hathout, a senior adviser
for the Los Angeles chapter of the MPAC,
said he learned today they had been a
tentative target. He said the arrests sent
an encouraging message to the Muslim
"We can easily develop an attitude that
(federal authorities) are out to get us,"
he said. "But it seems they are out to get
anyone who breaks the law."
The JDL opposes what it considers
threats to the Jewish people, whether from
Arabs, evangelizing Christians or
Originally formed by Meir Kahane
to mount armed response to anti-Semitic
acts in New York City, it gained notoriety
when its members were linked to bombings,
most of them aimed at Soviet targets in
retaliation for the way that country
treated its Jewish population.
When Kahane left the JDL, there was a
power struggle as Rubin vied for
Kahane was assassinated in New York in
1990. El Sayyid Nosair, 36, an
Egyptian-born Muslim, was convicted in
connection with the shooting.
Rubin has made a career out of
confrontation, challenging white
supremacists to fistfights, burning a
Confederate flag outside a Reno
courthouse, and being tried in 1980 for
soliciting the murders of Nazis in the
United States (he was found innocent). By
his own count he has been arrested more
than 40 times.
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