Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Man accused of ISIS support reportedly had eye on SF

An Oakland man who’s accused of attempting to provide material support to ISIS was contemplating San Francisco as a target because of the city’s LGBT-friendly reputation, KQED has reported.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 22, this week. Along with opening social media accounts to promote the terrorist organization, Alhaggagi is also accused of identity theft because he allegedly used a stolen credit card to buy almost $5,000 in clothing, prosecutors said in a news release.

According to KQED, Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Waqar Hasib said at a detention hearing in December that Alhaggagi had exchanged messages with an FBI source in which Alhaggagi pointed to San Francisco as a potential target.

Hasib quoted one message as saying, “I live close to San Francisco. That’s like the gay capital of the world,” KQED reported, citing audio of the hearing that was recently unsealed. “I’m going to handle them right. LOL. I’m going to place a bomb in a gay club. … I’m going to tear up the city. … The whole Bay Area is going to be up in flames. My ideas are genius. LMAO.”

Hasib also said that Alhaggagi’s “plan was to blow up a car bomb at an unidentified gay nightclub in San Francisco,” according to the news station, which also said that Alhaggagi had allegedly considered starting a fire in the Berkeley Hills.

Hanni Fakhoury, an assistant federal public defender who was representing Alhaggagi at the time, “did not dispute the government’s evidence” at the hearing, KQED reported, but he said “the ultimate issue was how much of what his client said was ‘very stupid and very inappropriate and very disturbing puffery and how much of it was actually intended to be acted out.'”

Alhaggagi, who was arrested in November, is in custody.

A judge ordered him detained after Pretrial Services reported that he wasn’t employed, he’d “spent significant lengths of time in Yemen,” and he’d allegedly made statements “regarding plans to flee to Mexico and elsewhere after engaging” in attacks, court records say.

Alhaggagi’s arraignment date hasn’t been set.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, July 27, 2017 @ 6:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Comments are disabled at this time.

Follow The Bay Area Reporter
Newsletter logo
twitter logo
facebook logo