JDL member faces up to 20 years for bombing plots

LOS ANGELES — A Jewish Defense League leader has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a plot to bomb a mosque and the office of a U.S. congressman.

Earl Krugel entered guilty pleas Tuesday to one count of conspiring with the JDL's late national chairman, Irv Rubin, to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and to a second count of carrying an explosive for bombing the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-San Clemente), who is of Lebanese descent.

The second count carries a mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison. The first count could add another 10 years.

Krugel's attorney, Mark Werksman, believes his client will receive a total of 12 years when U.S. District Judge S.W. Lew pronounces a sentence May 19.

If Krugel, 60, had gone on trial and been convicted, he would have faced a mandatory 40-year sentence.

"Earl is relieved that the matter is behind him," Werksman said. "He didn't want to plead guilty, but the political climate today is not hospitable for defending a domestic terrorist case."

Rubin, Krugel's alleged co-conspirator, committed suicide last November at a federal detention center, according to prison authorities.

Tom Tugend

JTA Los Angeles correspondent