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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 01:13 GMT 02:13 UK
Jewish bomb plotter jailed in US
King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California
The plotters targeted a mosque in a Los Angeles suburb
A Jewish extremist who plotted to blow up a Los Angeles mosque and the office of a US congressman of Lebanese descent has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Earl Krugel was arrested in 2001 with another leader of a group called the Jewish Defence League, Irv Rubin, who died in jail in an apparent suicide.

Krugel, 62, admitted the charges. The sentence was the heaviest he could receive under his plea bargain.

He apologised to the court for causing "sadness, pain and sorrow".

The plot was discovered before any blasts took place.

US District judge Ronald Lew said Krugel's crimes were "promoting hatred in the most vile way".

'Wake-up call'

FBI agents arrested Krugel and 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.

Krugel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the civil rights of worshippers at the 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.

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

Prosecutors argued that Rubin and Krugel had wanted to send a "wake-up call" to Arabs and to show that their group was "alive in a militant way".

The group was founded in 1968 by a 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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