Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, an Afghanistan native and former resident of Pomona; Ralph Deleon, 23, of Ontario and a native of the Philippines; Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales 21, of Upland; and Arifeen David Gojali, 21, of Riverside, a United States citizen, were arrested on suspicion of plotting to join Al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan in hopes of killing Americans.
According to the complaint that was filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, the four conspired to provide material support to terrorists in preparation for or in carrying out acts of terrorism.
The charges in the criminal complaint are conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim, or injure persons and damage property in a foreign country, killing and attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, killing nationals of the United States, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the United States; and bombing places of public use and government facilities.
In 2010, Kabir introduced Deleon and Santana to radical and violent Islamic extremist material according to the complaint.
In September 2012, Deleon and Santana recruited defendant Gojali to join them and to travel overseas to commit violent jihad, according to the complaint.
The complaint further alleges that Santana, Deleon and Gojali made plans to join Kabir in Afghanistan to attend terrorist training.
According to the complaint, in communicating with their handlers the four used the term "students" when referring to the Taliban and "professors" when referring to Al Qaida.
The complaint further alleges that Santana, Deleon, and Gojali conducted preliminary training in Southern California at firearms and paintball facilities to prepare for terrorist training overseas.
The four were apprehended on Friday without incident by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and had their initial appearance before a federal magistrate this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Riverside, California. Santana and Deleon were remanded to federal custody and Gojali's detention hearing was continued to Nov. 26.
Kabir is in custody in Afghanistan.