Tennessee GI-Killer Boasts of al-Qaeda Ties

Muslim convert details links in letter to death-trial judge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2010 1:24 AM CST
Abdulhakim Muhammad talks to the press in Little Rock, Ark., last year, after entering a not guilty plea in the shooting of two Army recruiters.   (AP Photo/Brian Chilson)
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(Newser) – A Muslim convert who opened fire on an Arkansas military recruiting station, killing one soldier and wounding another, claimed he has ties to al-Qaeda in a letter to his trial judge requesting he be allowed to change his plea to guilty. Memphis-born Abdulhakim Muhammad shot the soldiers last year, 4 months after he was deported back to the US from a 16-month stay in Yemen, the New York Times reports.

"I wasn’t insane or post traumatic, nor was I forced to do this act,” Muhammad wrote, calling himself a soldier in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and justifying the shootings as revenge for the killing of Muslims by American troops. The death penalty would have to be waived before the judge in the capital murder case could accept the guilty plea, something the prosecutor says he's highly unlikely to do. "We're on" for a trial, he said.

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