Authorities alleged in court documents filed Friday that Everitt Aaron Jameson, a tow truck driver, told an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation employee he believed to be a senior Islamic State leader that Pier 39 would be an ideal location for a terrorist attack.
Jameson also told the undercover agent he wanted to use explosives to "tunnel or "funnel" people into a location where he could inflict casualties, according to the complaint".
The FBI said it found a letter signed by Jameson in which he took credit for the planned attack.
Jameson "espoused radical jihadi beliefs" and meant to carry out the attack in support of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), authorities allege.
He allegedly also professed support for the October 31 terror attack in New York City that killed eight people.
The FBI's investigation began on September 19, when an FBI informant reported a suspicious Facebook account. He posted a GIF of a crowd giving a standing ovation to an article discussing the Halloween Day terror attacks in NY.
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Jameson had prior military experience, according to the complaint. Jameson called the number back but the employee let it go to his voicemail, which identified his name but not that he was a federal agent.
In November, Jameson filled out a "Franchise Tow Truck Driving Application" with the Modesto Police Department, prosecutors said. He attended basic recruit training and earned a sharpshooter rifle qualification.
In the affidavit, Jameson said that he needed ammunition, powder, tubing and nails and that he was trained in the use of both M-16 and AK-47 rifles. The FBI executed a search warrant on his home on December 20 and allegedly found multiple firearms and explosives materials. Investigators seized two.45 caliber magazines, several cylinder fireworks, a Winchester.22 caliber rifle, a Rugers Model M77 and a Sturm Ruger 9 mm handgun, along with a handwritten letter signed by an ISIS leader, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
An FBI spokeswoman says that there now is no specific or credible threat to the San Francisco Bay Area. Sadly, that makes our home a target.
It appears that Jameson may have been clued-in that the feds were onto him.