A Bakersfield, California man is getting national attention saying he was an undercover spy for the CIA. Fernando Jara says he was embedded with Islamic extremists after the September 11th attacks, looking for terrorists.
Jara happens to be Kern County Supervisor, Leticia Perez’s husband and his story just happened to break as Perez announced she’s running for the 16th District Senate seat.
Jara says the timing is purely coincidence. KGET News told Jara’s story in 2010, as the person who started Rockhill Farms, a Christian church offering men sober living while teaching them about agriculture. But it wasn’t until recently that he began to talk about his life in the CIA.
That story starts before September 11th. Four years before the attack, Jara had converted to Islam, trying to find his way. He also knew some Arabic. So, after the attacks, wanting to do something for his country, he volunteered himself to the CIA in an e-mail.
Jara says he trained with the CIA and spent five years embedded in the Middle East, borderline living as a terrorist recruit.
When Jara returned, he agreed to keep his service a government secret. But, he says bottling up those five years led to post traumatic stress, demons he tried to bury in the farm he created.
In January 2013, Jara says the L.A. Times asked him about doing a story on the farm. But, his story always had a five-year gap. So, he decided to close it and share his secret. It just so happened the article didn’t print until Monday, the same day Jara’s wife, Supervisor Leticia Perez announced she’s running for the 16th District Senate seat.
Jara says sharing his story isn’t about him or his wife. He hopes it sheds some light on service members, who can’t or won’t speak out, and are still haunted by war.
Jara converted back to Christianity after his service and is a pastor now. He says since the article, other national news agencies have contacted him about sharing his story.
Video link: http://bcove.me/4skzu5t6
Name: Fernando Jara Hometown: Bakersfield Profession: Co-Founder, Rockhill Farms
Fernando Jara knows what second chances are all about. He’s a high school dropout.
At 17, he was placed on parole, and it took him two years of junior college just to get his GED – he basically pulled himself up by his own bootstraps.
But some members of the community—teachers, clergymen—helped guide him to a better path. “They saw more than some Chicano tattooed kid with a criminal past,” says Jara.
It’s this opportunity for a better life that drove him to co-found Rockhill Farms nearly two years ago.
Rockhill Farms rehabilitates former prisoners in a sober living, drug and gang free environment. The program raises its own money through organic farming - the men grow their crops and sell them at a local farmer’s market. ...
Jara is a student at Claremont School of Theology, and one of his professors submitted his program. ...