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San Jose man arrested for attempting to bomb bank branch in Oakland

February 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A San Jose man was arrested Thursday night for attempting to detonate what he thought was a truck bomb outside an Oakland bank.

Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, was arrested near a Bank of America branch by FBI agents. He was arrested after he attempted to detonate an inert mock explosive device he thought was real.

Llaneza met with an undercover FBI agent he believed was connected to Taliban and mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan. Llaneza had previously expressed support for the Taliban and had said he wanted to travel to Afghanistan to train Taliban fighters.

Llaneza outlined a plan to bomb a financial institution to the FBI agent. They met several times to actuate the plan. An SUV was purchased, hidden in a storage facility, and filled with 12 five-gallon buckets of what Llaneza was told were explosive chemicals. The undercover agent rigged the phony device. The FBI said the device was never in danger of exploding.

The bank is located on the 300 block of Hegenberger Road in Oakland.

Llaneza allegedly hoped the bombing would be blamed on anti-government activists and would spark a civil war amid a severe government crackdown.

Llaneza was previously sentenced to a year in state prison for illegal transportation of an assault rifle. He was released from prison in November 2011.

Llaneza appeared in federal court Friday but did not enter a plea. He remained in custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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