The Islamic State has been calling on its followers to launch attacks during the Christmas and Holiday season. We have previously seen attacks on the Berlin Christmas Market and the Reina Nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. But here in the United States as people prepared to celebrate Christmas, Everitt Jameson, a tow truck driver from Modesto, California was alleged to be making preparations to attack Pier 39 in San Francisco. Pier 39 is one of the most visited attractions in San Francisco. From the pier one can watch the Sea Lions that gather on the floating docks. Everitt Jameson, a former Marine and convert to Islam communicated with a number of undercover informants of the FBI about his desires to undertake a terrorist attack and his desire to support the Islamic State. Jameson stated that “whatever they need done here. Alhamudulillah. I know this very well. I have no doubt. I am ready. Give the word and it shall be done.”
A handwritten letter recovered during the FBI’s search of Jameson’s residence sheds some light on what motivated him to want to kill on Christmas Day.
“I Abdallah abu Everitt ibn Gordon have committed these acts upon the Kuffar, in the name of Dar al Islam, Allahu Akbar! You all have brought this upon yourselves. There are no innocent Kuffar! Each and every Kuffar in this Nationalistic, Godless society has a hand in this. You’re Allowed Donald J Trump to give away Al Quds to the Jews. Both You and he are wrong, it belongs to the Muslemeen. We have penetrated and infiltrated your disgusting country. These Acts will continue until the Lions of Islam overtake you. Turn to Allah, make tawbah and fight with us, the soldiers who fight in the day and the night. Allah SWT is most forgiving, I am not. Long Live Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Allahu Akbar!
Abdallah abu Everitt ibnGordon al-Amriki”
Jameson told an undercover source that that we need something along the lines of New York or San Bernardino and he wanted to do a combination of the two. He wanted to do a vehicle attack combined with a firearms attack. Jameson had the perfect target to attack. He had been to Pier 39 in San Francisco and knew that it was a heavily crowded area. Jameson provided a photo map of Pier 39 along with two photos of the area. He told the undercover source that he also desired to use explosives. The explosives would funnel people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties. Jameson thought that Christmas was the perfect day to commit the attack.
For Jameson, this attack would be a martyrdom operation. He told the undercover that he did not have and did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die. On December 18, 2017, an FBI employee mistakenly called Jameson’s phone from an identifiable phone with a (202) area code. Jameson answered his phone in Arabic and the FBI employee quickly hung up. Jameson called the Washington, D.C. phone back and got the answering machine with the voice mail message for the person who called. Shortly after this Jameson seemed to have a change in heart. That same evening when the undercover source contacted Jameson to discuss meeting, Jameson told him that he had been “very busy tonight.” Jameson stated that “I also don’t think I can do this after all.” The next day the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed the warrant at Jameson’s residence.
Everitt Jameson was charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization -the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He is not the first person nor the last to plan or execute an attack during the Christmas. Terrorists hope to maximize the fear they might inflict by conducting an attack during the Christmas season. We have seen attacks of a Christmas Market in Berlin and the New Years Eve Nightclub attack in Istanbul, Turkey. The fact remains that terrorists are choosing to conduct their attacks during the Christmas and Holiday Season because of the numbers of people found in the target area and the importance that individuals place on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. For these reasons we must all be ever more vigilant. Merry Christmas!