Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Arkansas shootings at recuiting station likely political

Two soldiers were shot yesterday outside a military recruiting office in Little Rock, AR, yesterday. One of the soldiers died in the attack. The suspect, Abdulhakim Muhammad, is a Muslim convert and the act was likely political.

A Muslim convert who already was under federal investigation pleaded not guilty Tuesday in what police called a likely "political and religious" attack that killed a young soldier at a military recruiting center.

Abdulhakim Muhammad, 23, of Little Rock, was charged in Monday's death of Pvt. William Long, 23, of Conway outside an Army-Navy Career Center in a west Little Rock shopping center. He pleaded not guilty to a capital murder charge and was ordered held without bail.

A prosecutor said Muhammad admitted shooting Long and another soldier "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past."

An FBI-led joint terrorism task force based in the southern United States has been investigating Muhammad since he returned to the United States from Yemen, a law enforcement official said. The suspect had been arrested and jailed in Yemen at some point for using a Somali passport, the official said. The time of that arrest was not immediately clear.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss the investigation.

An FBI spokesman in Little Rock did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.