A man behind bars in Michigan stands accused of plotting to blow up a Metro Detroit mosque.
Roger Stockham, 63, who flew 600 combat helicopter missions in Vietnam, is behind bars in Michigan after he drove from his home in California last week and parked a car with a trunk full of explosives outside the Islamic Center of America, authorities said.
Acting on a tip, Dearborn police thwarted the alleged plot by arresting Stockham outside the sprawling religious center, one of the largest mosques in North America. At the time, 500 members were attending a funeral at the mosque.
•He’s 63 year old.
•He’s a decorated Army veteran.
Anti- Muslim tea-bagger, right? Mission accomplished, Beck, Limbaugh, Palin and Hannity, right?
OOOOPS!….not so fast:
According to federal records, Stockham pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to federal charges stemming from the case in Vermont in 2004. That included threatening the president, mailing threatening communications, threatening by use of the telephone to use explosives, and threatening witnesses.
A psychiatric examination found that Stockham suffered from bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorder with anti-social features.
In the Vermont incident, he told authorities at the time of his arrest at a Veterans Affairs Department complex in Colchester that his minivan was full of explosives. A search found no explosives.
Before the arrest, Stockham called a local paper twice to say he was going to explode bombs in the neighborhood. In one call, he identified himself as “Hem Ahadin,” saying he was “a local Muslim terrorist on a roll.”
He ranted against the VA, the FBI and Bush, largely because of the things the president had said about Iraq in a speech earlier in the week.
According to affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Stockham threatened to carry out “jihad,” or holy war, against the VA office in White River, Vt.
In recent weeks, a California VFW post was in the process of removing Stockham as a member after several recent incidents, said a post official.
Four months ago, Stockham was suspended for 60 days for smoking marijuana at Post 5477 in Imperial Beach, said Richard Schmitz, co-chairman of the post’s house committee.
After he returned from suspension, Stockham referred to the black post commander with a racial slur, said Schmitz.
Schmitz, who has known Stockham for four years, described him as a loner who, though he appeared at the post frequently, rarely socialized with other members.
“He’s a nut,” said Schmitz. “He flipped out lately.”
And lefty bloggers had such high hopes…
Think Progress reacted by playing up some rare examples of anti-Muslim hate crimes, and ending with dark hints that anti-Muslim rhetoric may have influenced Stockham’s actions, naming NY Congressman, Peter King specifically:
And while there’s no indication that Stockham was influenced by any political figure or faction, his actions are by no means isolated. As more and morepundits and politiciansencourage paranoia and vilifyMuslimAmericans rather than responsibly speaking out against it, they cultivate an Islamophobic atmosphere of hate that make incidents like this more likely. After all, with the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY) preaching that “80 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by radical Imams,” it seems only a matter of time before someone like Stockham offers a “radical” solution.
Congratulations Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Hannity, etc.
You are finally getting idiots like this to carry out your message.
LOL. Because Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Hannity, etc. are so known for encouraging listeners to threaten President Bush’s life. No? It was the left who did that, you say?
The Islamic Center of America, said Walid, is the largest mosque in North America. It has faced threats in the past. In 2004, two New York men sent threatening e-mails to the mosque. They were both charged with violating 18 U.S.C. 247, which makes it a crime to “intentionally obstruct[ ], by force or threat of force, any person in the enjoyment of that person’s free exercise of religious beliefs, or attempt[ ] to do so,” and plead guilty in 2005. The mosque was also vandalized when someone wrote “9/11 Terrorists Go Home” on the side of the building around 2007, Walid said.
Walid said that he thinks that anti-Muslim rhetoric played a role in the incident.
“I believe it is a mixture of the two, between a person being mentally unstable within a society context of a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric floating around. People can be on the edge and when they’re exposed to enough negative information about a group of people… it may be enough to push them over the edge,” Walid said.
Except it turns out that that Stockham (or Hem Ahadin, as he likes to be called) apparently considered himself some sort of Muslim terrorist, which of course doesn’t explain why he would target a mosque.
The whole thing is just weird.
But I’m gonna go out on a limb here, and say it’s doubtful that Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Hannity, and Peter King had anything to do with it.
Maybe TPM and Think Progress could show some intellectual honesty for a change and police their own side where the real hateful and dangerous rhetoric resides:
Susan Swift at Big Journalism reports: Make-Believe Media Ignores Jared Lee Loughner Wannabe
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers
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