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Man planned Christmas attack on Pier 39, FBI says

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A family watches dozens of sunbathing sea lions in February at San Francisco’s Pier 39. The beloved destination on The Embarcadero turns 39 this year. (James Chan/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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The FBI said a Modesto man who espoused support for Islamic State planned a Christmas suicide attack on San Francisco’s Pier 39, a popular tourist destination.

Authorities alleged in court documents filed Friday that Everitt Aaron Jameson, a tow truck driver, told an undercover FBI employee he believed to be a senior Islamic State leader that Pier 39 would be an ideal location for a terrorist attack.

Acting Mayor London Breed praised the efforts by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies in preventing the planned attack.

“At this time, there are no known additional threats to San Francisco related to this investigation,” Breed said in a statement. “While the FBI investigation into this case continues, the San Francisco Police Department will be increasing its presence throughout The City. I am incredibly thankful for the efforts and commitment of our public safety officials during this time.

“San Francisco is a city that proudly champions democracy, freedom and liberty. Sadly, that makes our home a target. We will not allow the thwarted attempts of one dangerous individual to disrupt our way of life. We will remain vigilant and continue to protect our city from any threat.”

Jameson allegedly sought from the FBI employee an assault rifle, ammunition, powder, tubing and nails — materials that can be made into a pipe bomb.

The suspect allegedly told the FBI that “we need something along the lines of New York or San Bernardino,” apparently referring to the shooting-related terrorist attack in Southern California in 2015 and the Oct. 31 terrorist attack in New York City.

Jameson allegedly described a plan to the FBI “in which explosives could ‘tunnel’ or ‘funnel’ people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties,” the court document said.

FBI agents conducted a search warrant Wednesday at a residence in Modesto and found a note signed by Abdallah Abu Everitt Ibn Gordon Al-Amriki, dated Dec. 16, which in part said, “I Abdallah add Everett ibn Gordon have committed these acts upon Kuffar, in the name of Dar al Islam, Allahu Akbar!”

The FBI also seized firearms from the home. Islamic State had recently called for attacks on Western cities around the Christmas holidays.

Tribune News Service contributed to this report.

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