People gather to watch synchronized skydivers land at Pier 39.
A former Marine sharpshooter has been arrested for allegedly planning to bomb and shoot up San Francisco's popular Pier 39 on Christmas in support of ISIS.
Everitt Aaron Jameson of Modesto, California, was arrested Wednesday and since been charged in federal court with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
According to a criminal complaint filed Friday, Jameson came to the FBI's attention on Sept. 19, when a source who has previously reported to the agency on national security matters flagged his Facebook profile, where he appeared to be “liking” pro-ISIS posts.
About one month later, an FBI “confidential source” reached out to Jameson via Facebook Messenger. Two days later, on Oct. 29, according to the FBI's affidavit, the former Marine responded to the source, who he thought was a member of ISIS, and expressed his desire to help.
“I am here to beg to join the cause against darul kuffar,” Jameson allegedly wrote. “I'm ready.”
Eventually, Jameson allegedly arranged a meeting with someone he thought was a member of ISIS leadership but who was in fact an undercover FBI employee. During that Dec. 16 meeting, according to court documents, Jameson suggested he could orchestrate an attack similar to those in New York on Oct. 31, in which a rented truck was used to mow people down, and San Bernardino in 2015.
“Jameson specifically named Pier 39 in San Francisco as a target location because he had been there before and knew that it was a heavily crowded area, and that, according to Jameson, no reconnaissance or site survey would be necessary,” FBI Agent Christopher McKinney wrote in the affidavit.
According to the FBI, Jameson suggested using a mix of a car to run down people and a firearm to inflict mass casualties. He also suggested using explosives to “funnel” people into a particular area to increase the number of people injured or killed on Christmas.
The former Marine also allegedly said he did not need to plan an escape because he was willing to die and even submitted a last will and testament. But earlier this week, the criminal complaint states that he tried to back out.
“I don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered,” Jameson said, according to the FBI.
Two days later, the FBI moved, raiding his home, where they allegedly discovered multiple guns and fireworks.
San Francisco acting Mayor London Breed praised law enforcement for foiling the alleged plot and said that while there was no known additional threats, police would be increasing their presence.
“San Francisco is a city that proudly champions democracy, freedom and liberty. Sadly, that makes our home a target,” she said in a statement. “We will not allow the thwarted attempts of one dangerous individual to disrupt our way of life.”