Cleric: Man charged in Kansas Bomb Plot is Mentally Ill
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Muslim cleric says a man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack on a Kansas military base to help the Islamic State group is mentally ill and was acting strangely days before his arrest. Imam Omar Hazim of the Islamic Center of Topeka told The Associated Press that the FBI brought John T. Booker Junior to him last year for counseling.Booker was charged yesterday (FRI) with planning a suicide attack at Fort Riley, about 70 miles west of Topeka.Prosecutors allege he told an FBI informant he wanted to kill Americans and engage in violent jihad on behalf of the Islamic State group. They allege the 20-year-old Topeka man said he believed such an attack was justified because the Quran "says to kill your enemies wherever they are."
Federal Prosecutor: 2nd Man Charged in Kansas Bomb Plot
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A second man is facing a criminal charge in connection with what authorities say was a plot to plant a bomb near Kansas military base to help the Islamic State group.U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said yesterday (FRI) that 28-year-old Alexander Blair of Topeka is charged with one count of failing to report a felony.A criminal complaint alleges Blair knew about a plot by 20-year-old Topeka resident John T. Booker Junior to detonate a bomb at Fort Riley.Booker was arrested Friday while trying to arm what he thought was 1,000-pound bomb outside the Army post. He faces three charges, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The complaint said federal agents interviewed Blair immediately after Booker's arrest.
Dad: Glad No One Hurt in Bomb Attempt
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The father of a 20-year-old man accused of planning a suicide attack at Fort Riley says he's glad authorities arrested his son and no one was hurt. Federal prosecutors say John Booker Junior was arrested yesterday (FRI) while trying to arm what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb near the Kansas military base. He's being held on federal charges. His father, John Booker Senior, told The Associated Press that his son moved out of the family's Topeka home after high-school graduation. He's spoken to him four times in the last year. He says he and his wife are Christian, and he doesn't know whether his son was Muslim. The elder Booker says he's an Army veteran and he did everything a father should do. He says once children turn 18, "parents have no control."
Sprint to Pay $15.5M in Wiretap Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sprint Communications has agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the telephone carrier overcharged the U.S. government to collect and deliver information gathered under court-ordered wiretaps.The settlement announced late Thursday revolves around a dispute about how Sprint Communications Incorporated billed the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and several other federal agencies for its wiretapping expenses. The government alleged that Sprint had included its financing costs and other items that didn't qualify for reimbursement under Federal Communications Commission regulations.The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco federal court 13 months ago, had alleged the Sprint had inflated its wiretapping costs by 58 percent from 2007 to 2010, resulting in false expense claims totaling $21 million. Sprint, which is based in Overland Park, Kansas, had denied the allegations.
Hunt Underway in Wichita for Missing Beaver
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A search is underway in Wichita for a missing beaver. The Wichita Eagle reports the beaver, named Chapa, broke out of his cage in the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit at Central Riverside Park in Wichita. He was discovered missing early Tuesday. Animal display attendant Connie Storrie has searched miles of the Little Arkansas River for the little orphan animal she helped rescue three years ago. He was injured when he was found in one of the muddy pools of Chisholm Creek Park.Storrie describes the beaver as "very shy." She worries about how he will fare in the wild after being coddled for three years on a diet of apples, carrots and sweet potatoes. She says anyone who sees the animal should call park officials and should not approach it.