Modesto man charged with planned Pier 39 terrorist attack

It's moments like this that make you appreciate law enforcement. A Modesto man was denied bail today after the FBI thwarted a Christmas week planned terrorist attack on Pier 39 in San Francisco.



According to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Christopher McKinney, Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, picked the heavily populated tourist spot of Pier 39 for a possible attack because he said he knew he could use explosives, a tow truck and guns to inflict a lot of damage.

Everitt Aaron Jameson of Modesto was a Marine before being discharged in 2009. He converted to Islam after a divorce and losing his children to foster care, family says. 

Jameson,  who authorities say was a  "radical jihadist," was was not immediately available for comment on Friday as he was taken into custody. His family did not know yet whether he had an attorney.

Jameson was charged in the Eastern District Court of California with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist.

His aunt, Sarah Jameson of Merced, told KTVU in an exclusive interview that the entire family was "shocked." 

"We knew he had switched his religion," she said. "But we didn't know how much it had affected him. We just had no idea. That's not the Everett I know."

She described Jameson as "very smart." But the 26-year-old man had been "hardened," she said, after a messy divorce and losing his children, ages 2 and 3, in a Child Protective Services custody battle within the last year or so. The children do not live with their mother either, she said; they are in foster care.

"That is when he turned to the Muslim thing," Jameson said.

She said she didn't know many details about why Jameson's children were taken away from their mother shortly after birth other than that she and Jameson weren't supposed to be near each other. She cited domestic issues as the reason, without explaining further. She said she and Jameson were close; she last saw him a week ago. 

KTVU has learned Jameson's ex wife, 25-year-old Ashley Jameson, has been in prison in Chowchilla since May of 2017 on a robbery charge. In January of 2015 Jameson had filed a restraining order against her for domestic violence.

Jameson was discharged from the US Marine Corps about 2009 because he didn't tell the truth about his history with asthma, documents state. Before the discharge, he earned a sharpshooter rifle qualification in basic recruit training. Before the Marines, his aunt said he had attended James Enoch High School in Modesto and  took some criminal justice classes at Merced College, his aunt said.

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