CALIFORNIA – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has clarified a report of a 2012 terror plot in the Riverside, California area involving Filipino national Ralph DeLeon.
DeLeon’s name has once again come up because his terrorist recruiter, Soheil Omar Kabir, reportedly ran in the same social circle as Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter in the Dec. 2 San Bernardino massacre where 14 people died and 22 were injured.
DeLeon, along with Kabir, and two others, were arrested in 2012. The group was eventually convicted on terrorism charges. They are now serving time in prison.
The FBI clarified that DeLeon’s group was not planning a terrorist attack in the United States.
“They were planning to go overseas and fight, go through a Taliban training camp, and ultimately enter an al-Qaeda training camp and fight against us and coalition forces in Afghanistan,” said FBI Assistant Director David Bowdich. “But there was never, to my recollection, there was never, in fact I’m certain of it, a credible threat to the U.S.”
Meantime, authorities now believe Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were actually planning a bigger attack after examining digital equipment recovered from their home.
Investigators continue to search for digital footprints left by the shooters, scouring a downtown San Bernardino lake for electronic items, including a hard drive.