1 April 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A man who called the United States Department of Homeland Security with a bogus tip about an alleged terrorist attack against a shopping mall in West Los Angeles was sentenced this morning to five years in federal prison.
Zameer Mohamed, 24, a Tanzanian national who most recently lived in Canada, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Percy Anderson. In sentencing Mohamed, Judge Anderson noted that the defendant’s hoax disrupted an entire city, scared thousands of people and wasted countless hours of law enforcement resources.
Mohamed pleaded guilty on December 20, 2004 to one count of using a telephone to convey false information about an explosive attack. Mohammed made the call on April 23, 2004 when he telephoned DHS and said that a Los Angeles-area mall in the vicinity of UCLA and “the federal building” would be attacked by terrorists on April 29. He said he had connections to an al Qaeda cell and that four individuals would enter United States through Canada using false U.S. passports. The threats caused law enforcement to dispatch well over 100 agents and officers to patrol malls and streets in Westwood.
Mohamed was arrested by the Border Patrol in Helena, Montana on April 29 after he entered the country illegally. Mohammed was interviewed by FBI Agents and admitted making the false threat because of a dispute involving money allegedly owed to him by a former girlfriend.
The investigation into this case was coordinated by the Los Angeles Joint Task Force on Terrorism, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Department of Justice/California Anti-Terrorism Information Center, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Beverly Hills Police Department. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the U.S. Border Patrol also provided substantial assistance during this investigation.