A Tennessee man charged with killing a soldier at a recruiting station in Arkansas wrote letters to a newspaper saying that he had planned a large-scale attack before his arrest.
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad wrote in the letters from prison that he was planning multiple attacks that included sites in Nashville and Florence, Ky.
He wrote seven letters earlier this year to The Commercial Appeal of Memphis that detailed his methods and motives.
Muhammad, born in Memphis as Carlos Bledsoe, faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder in the June 2009 fatal shooting of Pvt. William Andrew Long of Conway, Ark.
After returning in 2007 from Yemen, where he had been imprisoned and later deported, Muhammad said he began plotting an attack with targets that included rabbis and recruiting centers.
In the letters he called it “Plan A,” which was to assassinate “3 Zionist rabbis in Memphis, Little Rock and Nashville. Then target recruitment centers from the South to the nation’s capital. And other Zionist organizations in the northeast. That was the plan, which mostly failed.”
During the trip, he had prepared a carton of Molotov cocktails, lit one and threw it at what he believed to be the home of an orthodox rabbi in Nashville. But it bounced off the glass.
His next target was an Army recruiting center in Florence, Ky. He had researched recruiting centers and chose one in Florence because “it was near an interstate and bordered Ohio. Easy to get away.” But the office was closed.
He became frustrated at the failings and said he saved money for guns and ammunition.
On the morning of the shootings at the Little Rock recruiting center, Muhammad said his “Plan B,” was a “random and unplanned attack.”
“I went around the corner so they [couldn’t] see me,” he said of two soldiers standing outside. “I did not want them to see me coming. I had the SKS [rifle] with me and put it out the window. I rolled by and started shooting.”
Long and 18-year-old Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula were hit by bullets. Long later died from his injuries.
Muhammad drove away after the shootings but made a wrong turn and left his tailgate down, a mistake he believes made him easier to identify.
Going to jail was not part of the plan, but, “I got myself caught,” he wrote to the newspaper.
Muhammad said his motives for the attack were a response to what he called a “war against Islam and Muslims” by the U.S.
“The U.S. has to pay for the rape, murder, bloodshed, blasphemy it has done and still doing to the Muslims and Islam,” he wrote. “So consider this a small retaliation the best is to come Allah willing. This is not the first attack and won’t be the last.”
He is now in an Arkansas jail, and is scheduled to face a jury in February on charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder, among other charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
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