The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Video Reveals Plans of ISIS Supporter Who Wanted to Blow Up Gay Bars


The defense for aspiring terrorist Amer Alhaggagi is now complicated by a video that shows the Yemeni-born man plotting to use homeless people to bomb public buildings.

The undercover FBI video, obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, shows Alhaggagi in 2016 expressing excitement at the process of killing American civilians. 

"The way I'm seeing it is we could get away so easily," the Berkeley High School graduate tells an undercover FBI agent. "Like if you want to plant a bomb and just walk into a place with a bomb, you wouldn't have to do it yourself. There's so many homeless people that would do anything for a dollar. I could tell them to walk into the YMCA and they'll do it and we could detonate it from outside."

The bombs were just a sampling of Alhaggagi's plans, according to the FBI and statements the 23-year-old said himself. Alhaggagi allegedly wanted to kill at least 10,000 people in the area and then flee the country to join the Islamic State — his plots included selling cocaine with strychnine, planting backpack bombs at UC Berkeley, setting the Oakland hills ablaze, joining the Oakland Police Department and stealing weapons, and bombing gay bars and nightclubs in San Francisco.

Alhaggagi and his family claim he was never a real terrorist and never followed through on a violent act, though they do admit he opened social media accounts for ISIS supporters.

Alhaggagi has already pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group and is now facing sentencing; he could spend nearly 50 years in prison.

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