YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Los Angeles

JDL Leaders Accused in Bomb Plot Denied Bail

Courts: Federal judge finds that the pair could pose a danger if released. He says Irv Rubin, the group's national director, also represents a flight risk.


A federal judge denied bail Tuesday for two Jewish Defense League leaders accused of plotting to bomb the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and the San Clemente office of Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Vista), an Arab American.

In back-to-back hearings, U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew ruled that Irv Rubin, the JDL's national director, and Earl Krugel, the group's West Coast coordinator, could pose a danger to the community if released.

Lew also found that Rubin is a flight risk, although he said Krugel was unlikely to flee.

They have been held without bail since their arrest Dec. 11. If convicted, they could receive more than two life terms each.

In court papers, Assistant U.S. Atty. Gregory Jessner argued that both defendants might try to flee because of the severity of the sentence that awaits them if they are convicted.

He said Rubin and Krugel are not only dangers to the community at large, but they also pose a threat to the key witness against them, a JDL member who says he was recruited to carry out the bombings.

Jessner said the defense identified the informant, Danny Gillis, at a news conference last week and that a defense investigator called Gillis on his private cell phone seeking to interview him before the trial.

"It is hardly a stretch to suppose," wrote Jessner, that Rubin, if released, "would orchestrate a campaign to intimidate, or even to harm, the confidential informant."

Rubin's attorney, Bryan Altman, dismissed the prosecution's claims as absurd and sensational. "I hope there won't be a capitulation to the hysteria of the moment," he told the judge.

Altman defended the attempt to interview Gillis, saying "witnesses are not the government's chattel."

The defense has claimed that Gillis, a former Navy enlisted man, concocted the bomb plot and sought to entrap Rubin and Krugel in the scheme, hoping to oust them as leaders of the JDL.

Krugel's defense lawyer, Mark Werksman, called Gillis "an evil puppet manipulated by the FBI." He argued that Krugel needs to be freed on bail to help prepare for his trial.

Altman complained about Rubin's treatment. He said his client has lost about 40 pounds and "is in very poor shape."

He said Rubin has not been given warm clothes and "is cold all the time."

The trial of the two Jewish Defense League leaders is scheduled to begin sometime in March, but Werksman told the judge Tuesday that the defense probably will seek a postponement.

Los Angeles Times Articles