California man found plotting to bomb a mosque only receives 90 days in jail.
William Celli from Richmond, California, who has said he would “follow [Trump] to the end of the world” was arrested back in December for actively plotting to bomb a mosque and just received an extremely short jail sentence of only 90 days.
Celli’s light punishment was actually preceded by a hesitant arrest, which police finally did several days after Celli was reported for yelling “I’m going to kill you all!” to the Islamic Society of West Contra Costa County. After the incident, someone tipped off police that the man may have been planning a violent act against Muslims on a Thursday, and police arrived at his house to investigate that following Sunday. Detectives served a search warrant and had to call the bomb squad to detonate an explosive that was found in his home. Police even called for an evacuation of the area surrounding his home and only called for it to be lifted once the bomb was safely detonated.
The California man, who said on Facebook that the U.S. should “repatriate all Muslims back to their country of origin whether they were born here or not,” was just recently given a sentencing of only 90 days after accepting a plea bargain deal that dropped his most serious offenses. The charges that were dropped were for committing a hate crime and making criminal threats, and the only charge left was violating the free exercise of civil rights. He also has to continue with anger management courses, has 3 years of probation, and can’t have a Facebook page, where he was inciting racial hatred, for a period of time.
It’s difficult to imagine that if the tables were turned and a Muslim person were found planning to bomb a church, that the Muslim person would not be charged for domestic terrorism, let alone be offered a plea deal. The color of a person’s skin or the religion they practice should not determine whether someone is a valid threat to this country and capable of being a terrorist. Celli should have, at the very least, been given more jail time for plotting this violent act rather than having criminal protection orders guarding him after his hateful behavior.
Meanwhile, the mosque where he planned on murdering Muslim people has since hired private security guards to keep the worshippers safe. Police are not guarding the mosque for its own protection, nor did the District Attorney’s Office for Contra Costa County make an example out of Celli to warn the nation that domestic terrorism against Muslim-Americans or people of any race or religion would not be tolerated.
Despite the small punishment Celli received, the executive director of a local Muslim advocacy group, Zahra Billoo, is grateful that Celli received a punishment at all. He released a statement where he said, “At a time when attacks on mosques and Muslim individuals are at an all-time high, this will send a message that such actions will have consequences.”
The Council on America-Islamic Relations released a new report that found a greater frequency of vandalism and other acts targeting mosques occurred in 2015 that in any previous year. Just 29 of the acts of 71 in the year 2015 were committed after the Paris attacks on November 13th, when Trump also called for a ban on Muslim immigrants entering the country.
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