I.Q. first alerted us to this on The Gathering Storm today
Kansas man accused of plotting to detonate bomb at Fort Riley military base
A 20-year-old Kansas man plotted to kill American soldiers with a vehicle bomb at the Fort Riley military base, an attack he planned to carry out on behalf of the ISIS terror group, prosecutors announced Friday.
John T. Booker, also known as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, was arrested as part of a lengthy FBI investigation. Federal authorities said he was arrested near the army base in Manhattan, Kansas, as he completed final preparations to detonate the bomb, which had, in fact, been rendered inert while he was under FBI surveillance.
“As alleged in the complaint, John Booker attempted to attack U.S. military personnel on U.S. soil purportedly in the name of (ISIS)," said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin. "Thanks to the efforts of the law enforcement community, we were able to safely disrupt this threat to the brave men and women who serve our country. Protecting American lives by identifying and bringing to justice those who wish to harm U.S. citizens remains the National Security Division's number one priority."
Prosecutors said Booker repeatedly stated he wanted to engage in violent jihad on behalf of ISIS. He became an Army recruit and said he intended to commit an insider attack against American soldiers, like Major Nidal Hassan at Fort Hood in Texas.
Booker is the latest among a number of ISIS sympathizers who have been arrested by the FBI in recent weeks.
A criminal complaint unsealed Friday charged Booker with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives), one count of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
He was due to appear Friday afternoon in federal court in Topeka.
The criminal complaint Friday alleged that Booker spent months developing and attempting to execute a plan that would result in his own death as an ISIS suicide bomber. It also alleged that he “planned to pull the trigger of the explosives himself so that he would die in the explosion,” Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said at a news conference.
"I want to assure the public there was never any breach of Fort Riley Military Base, nor was the safety or the security of the base or its personnel ever at risk," said Kansas City FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson. "Recently the Command Staff at Fort Riley has been working hand in hand with law enforcement to ensure the utmost security and protection for the men and women who serve our country, and the surrounding community that supports the base."
Booker allegedly plotted to construct an explosive device for attack on American soil for months during meetings with two FBI informants. He told one killing Americans was permissible because the Koran “says to kill your enemies wherever they are.”
Prosecutors said the jihadi wannabe advanced the plot by acquiring components for a vehicle bomb, producing a propaganda video and renting a storage locker to store components for the explosive device.
Prosecutors said he identified Fort Riley as the target and talked about his commitment to trigger the device himself and become a jihadi martyr.
His arrest came behind the wheel of a van he belived was packed with 1,000 pounds of explosive.
Last year FoxNews.com reported
exclusively that Booker was under investigation for threatening online to commit a "Fort Hood-inspired" act of terror just weeks away from reporting for basic training.
The military learned of his radicalism - which had apparently been on display for months in online posts where he praised Usama bin Laden and pledged to die for radical Islam.
FoxNews.com reported then that Booker was the subject of an FBI alert.
“Getting ready to be killed in jihad is a HUGE adrenaline rush! I am so nervous," read a March 19. 2014 post on the Facebook page authorities believe belonged to Booker. "NOT because I’m scared to die but I am EAGER to meet my lord.”
FoxNews.com reported Booker enlisted in the Army in February 2014 and was due to report for basic training less than two months later on April 7. But the FBI interviewed him in March and alerted the Army, which formally discharged him.
and from Jawa Report:
*Bumped* Army Recruit Seeking Ft. Hood Style Attack on the Lam -- (UPDATE) *Exclusive* Suspect is John Thomas Booker, Jr. --UPDATE: No Immediate Threat (Rebumped ***Busted! ***)
And you'd be wrong.
LAST YEAR the FBI announced it was searching for an ex-army recruit suspected of plotting a Fort Hood-inspired Islamist attack.
Rusty Shackleford at The Jawa Report has identified the suspect – John Thomas Booker, Jr.
He goes by the alias Muhammad Abdullah Hassan on Facebook.
Federal prosecutors have announced an arrest in a case involving a “national security matter.”
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and an FBI special agent announced that 20-year-old John Thomas Booker from Topeka was arrested in Manhattan for trying to support ISIS.
He wanted to set off a bomb at Fort Riley. The arrest was made Friday morning.
Oh and Hassan, watch the cornhole bud.
*** End 2015 update original post below***
UPDATE 4/2/2014 PM
-- Shooting at Fort Hood on the very day after I posted this
Selfie of "Muhammad Abdul Hassan from his FB page
Critical above the fold update: The reason he's not a threat? He's been put into a mental institution
! So, this kind of explains why the Feds didn't release his name. But then why the security alert on military bases if the guy making the threats was already at a funny farm? Collaborators maybe?
I've ID'd the suspect as John Thomas Booker, Jr. Scroll down to see how I found him.
The good news here is that the man, known only as "Booker", never showed up for basic training. So, this isn't an "imminent" attack of any sort. The news so far suggests that he planned to join the military, infiltrate the ranks, and only then follow in the footsteps of Nidal Hasan in committing mass murder against his fellow soldiers.
The bad news? Apparently, "Booker" is on the run
On 20 March 2014, the Kansas City Division FBI became aware of an individual named BOOKER aka Muhammad Abdullah Hassan who had publicly stated his intention to commit jihad, bidding farewell to his friends and making comments indicating his jihad was imminent. BOOKER had been recruited by the US Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for Basic Training on 7 April 2014. Kansas City Division Agents interviewed BOOKER on 20 March 2014.
There's a BOLO out on "Booker"
, but it's not clear to me if the FBI and military want to catch this guy why they don't publicly release his real name along with a picture? If he decided not to show up for basic training, then here are the reasons as I see them: a) he suspected that his plot had been detected so he ran (Update: I don't know how I overlooked this, but the FBI interviewed him in March so of course he realized they were on to him); b) he got cold feet, in which case was there really any crime committed since he may have decided not to carry out the original plot; c) he decided to commit some other
act of terror.
One last thing that may be cause for worry:
Law enforcement sources familiar with the alert said it appeared to suggest that there may be others in addition to Booker who also might have expressed similar intentions to commit jihad against U.S. military installations. [emphasis mine]
A bigger plot with multiple suspects on the loose?
So, it sounds like the military is treating this as a potential threat against bases within the US ... so we go with option "C", even if it is only a precautionary alert as to what "Booker" might
I'm a little late to this party, so has anyone heard anything else about this guy?
UPDATE: Apparently this guy's Facebook page was a treasure trove of information, but it's down now. The Heavy
grabbed some photos before FB suspended his account. I've posted one of those pics at the top. This one is from his Linkedin account
Apparently, the guy went to Topeka West High School and graduated in 2012 and was recently in the Job Corps. His phone number is an 816 area code, so he may have recently lived in the Kansas City area (Topeka looks like it's 785 to me).
So, with all these clues, can we put together this guy's real name?
: The suspect the FBI and military are searching for is named John Thomas Booker, Jr.
How do I know? Well, "Booker" graduated from Topeka West High School in 2012. According to this list of graduates
, a "John Booker, Jr." graduated from that school in 2012. And a "John Thomas Booker, Jr." was in that school's ROTC program in 2011 as cited here
. And since Cadet Booker is quoted in that article as celebrating Christmas, we can surmise that he is a convert to Islam.
Here's a pic of "Booker" wrapping Christmas presents with his ROTC group in high school.
Be on the lookout for --
John Thomas Booker, Jr.
19 years old
b. Auguest 12, 1994
AKAs:"Booker", "Muhammad Abdullah Hassan"
If you encounter Mr. Booker contact your local FBI office
Also, email me if you see any more pics of this guy or have any more information.
UPDATE: Via @C1TYofFL1NT this looks like it's his YouTube account
. Standard jihadi stuff, but he does post some comments in which he asks people to pray for him to become a martyr.
"I wanna be a martyr (shaheed)!!! YA, brothers and sisters. Make a dua for me asking Allah to make me a martyr, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!! My name is above in blue"
He actually posted that same comment over and over on a bunch of videos. Apparently, the guy wants to be a martyr. That might make him a tad more dangerous.
Oh, and I forgot to mention this -- the one video he did upload and which plausibly could have been made by him? It's a CGI type edited video entitled "Muslim blows up House of a person in the Illuminati
(Dajjal" [Dajjal means false messiah, kind of like the antichrist]. If he made the video with some sort of editing software then I'm guessing that's his voice we hear saying, "Allahu akbar" as the residential house blows up.
: Maggie asks a good question
: If the Feds are looking for this guy, why haven't they released a photo of him?
I don't have a good answer for that. Thoughts?
: Uh, so it looks like this all may have been ... overstated. Here's an update from Fox News
, who broke the story in the first place:
But although the reference was to the 2009 shooting on a Texas military base in which 13 people were killed and more than 30 injured, the FBI downplayed the threat on Tuesday and said it was not hunting for the man.
“We have interviewed this individual,” an FBI spokesman said. “There is not a manhunt and there never was one. There is no imminent threat to public safety, nor should the public be concerned that this threat exists from an individual at large."
Dudes, next time just say that at the beginning!
So, what's the deal with this then? Thanks to WTD for that last update.