09/18/2013 06:56 pm ET

Matthew Llaneza To Plead Guilty In Oakland Car Bomb Sting


WASHINGTON -- A 28-year-old man accused of trying to set off what he thought was a car bomb in front of an Oakland, Calif., bank during an FBI sting in February plans to plead guilty next month, according to court filings.

Federal prosecutors and a federal public defender representing Matthew Aaron Llaneza are "negotiating the final aspects of a settlement," according to a Wednesday court filing. A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 10. Llaneza is charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Llaneza, a San Jose resident released from state prison in November 2011 after serving time for possessing an AK-47, repeatedly tried to set off what he thought was a car bomb in front of a Bank of America in Oakland on Feb. 8, 2013, authorities allege. The fake bomb and the SUV were provided by undercover FBI agents to Llaneza, who the feds say was an al-Qaeda sympathizer.

Llaneza, a former Marine with a long history of mental illness, pleaded not guilty in March. The feds said that Llanez initially proposed structuring his attack so it appeared that an "umbrella organization for a loose collection of anti-government militias and their sympathizers" were behind it.

"Llaneza's stated goal was to trigger a governmental crackdown, which he expected would trigger a right-wing counter-response against the government followed by, he hoped, civil war," an FBI agent said.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Jerome Matthews did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment.



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