The FBI announced on December 22nd that they had arrested a man planning an attack on San Francisco on Christmas. Here’s what we know about the suspect in the Christmas terror attack.
The 26-year-old suspect, Everitt Aaron Jameson, was arrested at his home in Modesto, California, on December 20th. He said that he was working “in support of ISIS.” Jameson is a tow truck driver, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, he told an FBI agent posing as an ISIS leader that he thought San Francisco’s Pier 39 would be ideal for a terrorist attack.
Jameson is accused of providing information to a foreign terrorist organization from October 24th through December 20th, according to an FBI affidavit obtained by NBC Bay Area. The agent who filed the affidavit, Christopher McKinney, also recorded that Jameson said he would “do anything for the cause.”
The suspect reportedly was planning to build a pipe bomb. Rifles and ammunition were discovered at his residence. Jameson chose Pier 39 as the location of the attack because it was a crowded tourist spot. He said he was inspired by the October 31st attack in New York and the December 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California.
FBI agents said they found a suicide note at Jameson’s house that took issue President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Jameson graduated from basic training with the U.S. Marines in 2009 with the rifle sharpshooter qualification. But he was discharged when military officials discovered he had concealed his history of asthma.
Jameson is a recent convert to Islam. According to the FBI documents, he had recently been posting and liking pro-terrorism content on Facebook. The affidavit also said that Jameson “espoused radical jihadi beliefs.”
Jameson, a California native, shows that terrorists can come from any background and that stricter immigration policies won’t stop terrorist attacks. The reality is that terrorism is a complex issue, and that people like Jameson exist everywhere. But for now, we’re relieved that Jameson was arrested and that this attack on San Francisco was prevented. We hope that everyone in the Bay Area stays safe.