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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Jewish militant faces bomb trial
A militant Jewish activist is to stand trial for an alleged plot to bomb a Los Angeles mosque and the office of an Arab-American congressman.

Earl Krugel, 61, a member of the far-right Jewish Defense League, had struck a plea bargain with prosecutors and was expecting up to 20 years in prison.

But a judge ruled that Mr Krugel broke conditions set on his deal and ordered him to face trial on further charges.

He now faces a jail term of up to 55 years if convicted of the failed plot.

Former JDL leader Irv Rubin
Alleged plot mastermind Irv Rubin died in prison
FBI agents arrested Mr Krugel and his alleged co-conspirator, Jewish Defense League leader Irv Rubin, at their homes in November 2001.

Investigators seized bomb-making equipment they believed was destined to be used in an attack on the King Fahd mosque in Culver City, a suburb of Los Angeles.

The pair were charged in December 2001 with conspiring to bomb the mosque and send explosives to the offices of congressman Darrell Issa, who is of Lebanese Christian descent.

No-one has yet faced trial over the charges.

Mr Krugel had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the civil rights of worshippers at the King Fahd Mosque and to a weapons charge linked to the plot against the congressman.

In return, he was to escape trial on more serious charges related to the bomb conspiracy.


Now US District Judge Ronald Lew has invalidated the plea bargain after Mr Krugel allegedly broke the secret terms of the deal.

Mr Krugel's lawyer, Peter Morris, said the decision was "a dark day in American justice", and added that his client had co-operated fully with the government.

Mr Rubin died in November 2002 while awaiting trial when prison authorities said that he slashed his throat with a knife and then either fell or threw himself from a prison walkway.

Prosecutors alleged that Mr Rubin and Mr Krugel had wanted to send a "wake-up call" to Arabs and to show that the militant JDL was "alive in a militant way".

The group was founded in 1968 by the far-right US rabbi Meir Kahane, who advocated the expulsion of all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Kahane was assassinated in New York in 1990.


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