| Source: More Targets Found on Arkansas Shooting Suspect's Computer |
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
A senior U.S. official tells FOX News that more targets were found on the computer of a man charged in the fatal shooting at a military recruiting center in Arkansas — suggesting the accused gunman may have been part of a larger plot to attack military targets and may not have been acting alone.
Officers found maps to Jewish organizations, a Baptist church, a child care center, a post office and military recruiting centers in the southeastern U.S., New York and Philadelphia, according to a joint FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press.
After Monday's attack outside the Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, detectives searched a computer linked to suspect Abdulhakim Muhammad, and discovered research into multiple sites in different states, according to the memo.
Muhammad, 23, a Muslim convert who previously was known as Carlos Bledsoe, pleaded not guilty to capital murder in the deadly suburban shopping complex shooting.
Authorities said he targeted soldiers "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past."
Private William Long, 23, was killed and Private Quinton I. Ezeagwula, 18, was wounded. Both completed basic training within the past two weeks and had never seen combat. Ezeagwula was in stable condition at a hospital.
The latest information seemed to contradict a local police official's denial earlier Tuesday that the shooting was part of a larger conspiracy, though details of possible accomplices and their involvement weren't immediately disclosed.
Muhammad is being held without bond and is due to make his first court appearance Wednesday.
Muhammad, a U.S. citizen, is accused of carrying out a targeted attack against U.S. forces because of "political and religious motives" and already had been under investigation by the FBI at the time of the shootings.
An FBI joint terrorism task force based in the southern U.S. reportedly had been tracking Muhammad after he traveled to Yemen and was arrested and jailed there for using a Somali passport, an official told The Associated Press. The probe had been in its early stages and based on Muhammad's trip to Yemen, ABC News reported.
While there, Muhammad, who was born and raised in Tennessee, studied jihad with an Islamic scholar, according to Jihadwatch.org. He moved to Little Rock in April.
At Tuesday's court hearing, Deputy Prosecutor Scott Duncan said Muhammad told investigators that "he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot."
Long and Ezeagwula were targeted as they stood outside the recruiting center smoking cigarettes.
| Collector puzzled over seizure of his vintage war plane by customs agents |
Skyraider believed to be 1 of 4 left in U.S.
by Anita Debro -- Birmingham News
June 03, 2009
A vintage airplane collector said Tuesday that government agents have impounded his rare 1952 military aircraft he imported from France last fall and are threatening to destroy the plane because of a missed step in bringing it into the country.
Claude Hendrickson III said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seized his Douglas AD-4N Skyraider about six weeks ago at the Bessemer Municipal Airport hangar he leases.
"(ICE) basically said we smuggled the plane into the country. My question is how do you smuggle this into the country," Hendrickson asked pointing to the single-engine aircraft that was commonly used as an attack bomber during the Vietnam War.
Hendrickson's Skyraider is believed to be one of only four of its kind that remain in the U.S.
The airplane, which Hendrickson bought for $100,000 last May, since its seizure has been moved to another hangar at the Bessemer Airport.
Hendrickson said he is not allowed to fly the plane or perform any work on it until ICE agents release it.
ICE spokesman Temple Black on Tuesday declined comment on the case and forwarded questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham.
Officials in the U.S. Attorney's Office declined specifics on the matter, but said "ICE continues to investigate the case."
Hendrickson said he was not trying to bring the plane into the country illegally. He said he believed he followed all steps to import the plane.
The 48-year-old businessman hired attorneys Joe Lassiter and Anthony Johnson.
Hendrickson said his attorneys on Tuesday met with lawyers in the U.S. Attorneys in Birmingham regarding the plane.
Hendrickson said he has been advised that ICE had 60 days to file any criminal charges against him. He said the plane has already been impounded for about 45 days.
Hendrickson, who lives in Shelby County, said he was in Texas on business when federal agents seized the plane at the Bessemer Airport in May.
He flew into the airport as soon as he heard about the seizure and briefly met with ICE agents.
Hendrickson said ICE agents told him then that he had failed to fill out a form required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives when he imported the plane into the states from France.
Hendrickson said he was unaware he had to register the plane with ATF since he removed the aircraft's artillery while it was still in France.
Hendrickson did register the plane with the FAA.
The FAA issued a certificate of registration on the airplane in September 2008, according to the agency's Web site. The registered owner of the aircraft, according to the FAA, is Dixie Equipment LLC, the business Hendrickson owns.
IN HONOR OF FATHER:
Hendrickson's father, Claude F. Hendrickson Jr., is a retired captain in the Navy. The elder Hendrickson flew planes like a Skyraider during his service.
It was his father's service as a Naval pilot that sparked the younger Hendrickson's fascination with airplanes. The younger Hendrickson owns several vintage military aircraft that he houses in Bessemer including the exact SNJ-4 warbird his father flew during his time in the military.
He and his father made the trip to France last year for the Skyraider. After inspecting the aircraft, the two men hired a pilot to fly a 15-day trip to get the plane from Europe to Buffalo, N.Y.
The Hendricksons planned to enter the plane in air shows across the country. Hendrickson already flies several of his military planes in air shows.
The younger Hendrickson said once the Skyraider had made a successful run in air shows, he planned to donate the aircraft in his father's honor.
"Ultimately, my intentions from the beginning have been to fly this plane for five to 10 years in air shows and then donate it to the Southern Museum of Flight in my father's name."
Now, Hendrickson worries that the government will destroy the vintage aircraft.
"I just don't get it," Hendrickson said. "This is a part of American history. It is of no danger to the government."