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LOS ANGELES (AP) - An alleged plot targeting military facilities, synagogues and other Los Angeles-area sites has highlighted what experts say is a novel terrorist threat: homegrown American militants operating with little or no help from Islamic extremists abroad.
Four suspects were charged Wednesday with conspiring to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism. Named in the federal indictment were Levar Haley Washington, 25; Gregory Vernon Patterson, 21; Hammad Riaz Samana, 21; and Kevin James, 29.
All but Samana, a Pakistani national, are American born and Muslim converts. Counterterrorism officials have found no evidence directly connecting the group - described as the cell of a California prison gang of radical Muslims - to al-Qaida or other foreign terror networks.
Law enforcement officials and terrorism experts said it could represent one of the first Islamic terrorism cases involving U.S. natives without those connections.