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Kansas Man Charged In Foiled Terrorist Plot Aimed At Fort Riley

Frank Morris

Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced Friday that a 20-year-old Topeka, Kansas man has been charged in a plot to detonate a suicide bomb at the U.S. Army base in Fort Riley.

Grissom said that John T. Booker, Jr., also known as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, has been charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

He could face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison if convicted.

"The criminal complaint alleges that [Booker] has spent months developing and planning to execute a plan that will result in his own death," Grissom said. "It is alleged that he told another individual that detonating a suicide bomb was his number one aspiration because he couldn't be captured, all the evidence would be destroyed and he would be guaranteed to hit his target."

Grissom said the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Kansas City branch has been investigating the plot for some time. Booker allegedly had been working on creating a bomb since March, and rented out a storage locker in Topeka to house its components.

Booker also allegedly created a so-called "martyr video" to be played after his death. In it, Grissom says Booker addressed soldiers overseas in the Middle East. 

"[Booker] said the Islamic State is coming for them," Grissom said. "He said that they were targets in their homes, at their bases, recruiting stations, or in the streets."

Booker will make his first appearance in court Friday afternoon. 

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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