one-man jihad vs. homeland
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
He planned for weeks, buying guns secondhand to avoid the FBI.Then, to test whether the feds were watching, he bought a .22-caliber rifle over the counter at Walmart. He stockpiled ammo and practiced target shooting at empty construction sites.By his own account, he was preparing for jihad.From a black Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Memphis native, watched two soldiers in fatigues smoking outside a military recruiting center in Little Rock. He aimed an assault rifle out the window and fired.Muhammad sped away, hoping to flee 150 miles to Memphis where he would switch cars. But a wrong turn in a construction zone led him to police He stepped out of the SUV wearing a green ammo belt around his waist."It's a war going on against Muslims, and that is why I did it," an officer heard him say. "You see how I gave up with no problem."Much of this account emerges from police reports and an 18-page mental-health evaluation contained in court files. But Muhammad tells a far broader, detailed story in seven handwritten letters to The Commercial Appeal. Taken together, those letters are not just an admission of guilt but a profession of failure for having not caused more death and destruction.The letters, written in pencil between May and October, provide a rare glimpse into the thoughts of a self-described jihadist, according to one national security expert. Muhammad describes in his own words how he took his declaration of faith in a Memphis mosque; his motives for moving to Yemen and his attempt to travel to Somalia for weapons training; how and why he planned multiple attacks in the U.S, including ones in Nashville and Florence, Ky., that didn't go as intended; and how he allegedly executed the Little Rock assault.
In his own words:..more