Bail was denied today for a Riverside man who is one of four people accused of plotting to wage Muslim holy war against American troops overseas.
Arifeen David Gojali, 21, could face 15 years in federal prison if convicted of providing material support to terrorists for the purpose of harming U.S. citizens and destroying U.S. property abroad.
Gojali, Ralph Deleon, 23, of Ontario, Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, a former Pomona resident, and Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, a permanent resident of Mexico who lived in Upland, were charged Nov. 16 following an FBI investigation.
Deleon and Vidriales are being held without bail. Kabir is in federal custody in his native Afghanistan.
According to the criminal complaint, the defendants conspired to:
-- kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons and damage property in a foreign country;
-- attempt to kill officers and employees of the United States;
-- conspire to use a weapon of mass destruction outside the United States; and
-- bomb places of public use and government facilities.
Prosecutors say that in 2010, Kabir introduced Deleon and Vidriales to radical Islamic doctrine, using lectures and essays by U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was regarded by U.S. officials a key figure of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula until he was killed in a CIA drone strike in Yemen in 2011.
Kabir went to Afghanistan in July, maintaining contact with his co- defendants. He had told them to follow him to Afghanistan, where he would introduce them to Taliban and al-Qaida operatives for training, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Deleon and Vidriales unwittingly told an FBI informant that they planned to travel to Afghanistan to engage in violent jihad, targeting overseas American military personnel and bases, according to prosecutors.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Riverside-based Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is made up of members from the Riverside and San Bernardino County sheriff's departments; the Riverside, Beaumont and Ontario police departments; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Attorney's Office; and the FBI.