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DOJ: Taliban wannabe tried to bomb Oakland bank and frame ‘right-wing’ groups

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Justice Department officials charged a Taliban sympathizer in California with attempting to carry out a terrorist attack that he hoped would be blamed on “right-wing” groups, thereby provoking a civil war.

Matthew Aaron Llaneza is accused of attempting to detonate a car bomb at a Bank of America in Oakland. “Llaneza’s stated goal was to trigger a government crackdown, which he expected would trigger a right-wing counter-response against the government followed by, he hoped, a civil war,” according to court documents. The complaint says that Llaneza wanted to frame “a loose collection of anti-government militias and their sympathizers.”

Llaneza originally planned to attack a Federal Reserve building, but he changed his mind because of building security. The Federal Reserve has risen in the public eye over recent years, in part because former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, criticized the central bank throughout his presidential campaigns. A spokesman for the the local U.S. Attorney said he had no comment on which group in particular Llaneza wanted to blame.

The hacker organization, Anonymous, also targeted the Federal Reserve recently. A Bangladeshi man attempted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year.

Llaneza hoped to join the Taliban in Afghanistan after carrying out the attack in California, according to the complaint.

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