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Jewish radical sentenced for los angeles terror plot { September 22 2005 }

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Radical Gets 20 Years in Mosque Bomb Plot
By David Rosenzweig
Times Staff Writer

12:30 PM PDT, September 22, 2005

A Jewish radical who confessed to a plot to bomb a Los Angeles mosque and a congressman's office was sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison this morning.

Earl Krugel, a 63-year-old dental assistant from Reseda, apologized for his actions, telling the court that they were "dangerous, wrong and illegal, and for that I am sorry."

But U.S. District Judge Ronald S. W. Lew said he did not buy the argument that Krugel had changed since his arrest in December 2001. He sentenced Krugel to the maximum term.

Krugel was convicted of planning to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and a field office of Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Vista), who is of Lebanese descent. A codefendant, Irv Rubin, committed suicide while awaiting trial.

In federal court in Los Angeles, lawyers for both sides debated whether Krugel had lived up to the terms of a plea agreement in which he promised to cooperate with the FBI.

Defense attorney Jay Lichtman disclosed that Krugel had provided federal authorities with the names of four people whom Rubin, the late Jewish Defense League leader, had mentioned as suspects in the 1985 slaying of Alex Odeh, head of the American Arab Antidiscrimination Committee.

Odeh was fatally injured by a bomb that exploded when he opened the door to the committee's headquarters in Santa Ana. The 20-year-old killing remains unsolved.

Lichtman acknowledged that Krugel had stalled for five months before revealing the names, three of which he said already were known to the FBI.

Krugel pleaded guilty to working with Rubin to enlist a younger Jewish Defense League member to carry out the bombings. Rubin chose the targets and Krugel supervised the purchase of metal pipes and explosive powder, authorities said.

Danny Gillis, assigned to plant the bombs, became an FBI informant, wearing a concealed recording device during a series of meetings with Krugel and Rubin. According to a transcript of one planning session, Krugel said the JDL needed to send "a wake-up call" to Arabs by doing something to one of their "filthy mosques." Gillis told the FBI that Krugel provided him with a camera and instructed him to scout about a dozen potential targets in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Gillis also said he had taken part in two earlier JDL bombing attempts, one at a San Fernando Valley tattoo parlor that caused minor damage to a rear wall and the other an aborted scheme to plant a bomb outside a Valley mosque.

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