Saturday, January 29, 2011

California wingnut arrested outside Michigan mosque with explosives: Just another 'isolated incident'

-- by Dave

Now, I don't know about you, but when an agitated man drives all the way from California to Dearborn, Michigan, with a trunk full of Class C explosives (high-end fireworks, mostly) and is arrested outside an Islamic center for making terrorist threats -- well hey, I just naturally assume that this has nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with the right-wing Islamophobic hatred that's regularly ginned up by radio and TV talkers.

From the Detroit Free Press:

About 700 people were attending a funeral inside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, the largest mosque in metro Detroit, when Dearborn police arrived to arrest a man in a car in the parking lot.

He had driven to Michigan from California and reportedly was overheard in a bar making threatening comments about Muslims or Arabs. His car was loaded with large, illegal fireworks, police said. Now, Roger Stockham, 63, is jailed on charges that include making a false report or threat of terrorism.

"He's very dangerous," said Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad.

Now, how do we know that this couldn't possibly have been a right-wing ideologue? Why, because he had been arrested back in 2002 for threatening President Bush -- which is always a certain sign of left-wing politics, according to every right-wing talker on the planet. From the Detroit News:

A decorated Army veteran accused of plotting to blow up a Metro Detroit mosque served time in federal prison for threatening to kill President George W. Bush and bomb a Vermont veterans' clinic in 2002.

Ah, but then we read the details of that particular arrest:

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 other words, the threat against Bush was made in the context of Stockham pretending to be an Islamic terrorist -- that is, he threatened Bush because he wanted his listeners to believe he was a Muslim, since he wanted authorities to assume whatever act he committed was an act of Islamist terrorism.

Most of all, the man had been diagnosed with (and treated for) mental illness on several occasions, which we all know means you can't possibly blame right-wing rhetoric for having helped inspire the act, right?

Yep, just another isolated incident.. We're up to 21 and counting, by the way.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

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