Recruiter Shooting Suspect Under FBI Investigation
Man accused of killing one recruiter, wounding another, spent time in Yemen.
June 1, 2009 -- The suspect arrested in the fatal shooting of one soldier and the critical injury of another at a Little Rock, Ark., Army recruiting booth today was under investigation by the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force since his return from Yemen, ABC News has learned.
The investigation was in its preliminary stages, authorities said, and was based on the suspect's travel to Yemen and his arrest there for using a Somali passport.
The suspect, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 24, had changed his name from Carlos Leon Bledsoe after converting to the Muslim faith.
Law enforcement sources said he offered no resistance when Little Rock police arrested him today.
It was not known what path Muhammad, a U.S. citizen who is a recent convert to Islam, had followed to radicalization.
"At this point it appears that he specifically targeted military personnel, but there doesn't appear to be a wider conspiracy or, at this point in time, any indication that he's a part of a larger group or a conspiracy to go further," Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said.
But, Muhammad's travels overseas have sparked a major international investigation. Officials say it is too early to know for certain if he indeed acted alone.
According to sources, the suspect advised them that he was going to kill as many Army personnel as possible. At the time of the shooting, the subject had approximately 200 rounds of ammunition available, police said.
According to a police report, Muhammad told police he saw two uniformed U.S. soldiers in front of the recruiting office before he shot and killed Pvt. William Long, 23, and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, while they were taking a break outside the U.S. Army recruiting station where they both worked.
When Muhammad was arrested he was near a Walgreens drug store and another large store with hundreds of people inside and out in the parking lot areas.
But authorities said he never attempted to hurt anyone at either location, and only directed his hostility to the recruiting site.
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