Federal authorities on Friday charged a 26-year-old Modesto man with arranging a dread assault on San Francisco's Pier 39 after a covert examination that unfurled lately. His family did not know yet whether he had an attorney.
His aunt, Sarah Jameson of Merced, told KTVU in an exclusive interview that the entire family was "shocked".
"Allahu akbar! It says he was one of us". Jameson said he could provide money, and even go to Syria. In 2009, he attended basic recruit training for the Marine Corps and later graduated with a "sharpshooter" qualification, but he was discharged for fraudulent enlistment because he failed to disclose a history of asthma. In those conversations, he described his interest in "planning and undertaking a violent attack in San Francisco in support of ISIS". Jameson "wanted to use a combination of the two" attacks, which McKinney believes is an indication of him wanting to inflict "casualties through the use of a vehicle and firearms". On December 20, he said he had reconsidered and wasn't ready to do it. At one point, Jameson stated he needed equipment such as PVC pipes, powder, nails, timers and detonators to purportedly build some sort of explosive device.
The agent told Jameson to hold off until he got approval from ISIS higher-ups. Jameson acknowledged that he understood.
Communicating with Federal Bureau of Investigation assets he believed were representatives of the Islamic State, Jameson advertised himself as a military veteran and offered to put his skills at the service of the caliphate. An FBI employee called Jameson's mobile phone and hung up when Jameson answered in Arabic. According to the informant, Jameson "loved" a Facebook post on November 29 that showed an image of Santa standing in NY with a box of dynamite and a messages that read, "ISIS post image of Santa with dynamite threatening attack on NY". Among the posts was a picture of Santa Claus standing in NY with a box of dynamite. The agent said the NY attack he was referring to was the October 31 attack during which a driver used his truck to killed 9 people.
Two days later, however, Jameson appeared to be getting cold feet about his plan.
"I was a soldier in the kuffar army before I reverted", he said.