Suspect In Killing Of Army Recruiter Says Shooting Was Justified
Abdulhakim Muhammad told the Associated Press, “I do feel I’m not guilty” in the shooting of Pvt. William Andrew Long, who was killed, and Pvt. Quinton I. Ezeagwula, who was injured June 1 at a recruiting station in Little Rock. Muhammad believes US military activities in the Middle East justifies his actions, saying, “I don’t think it was murder, because murder is when a person kills another person without justified reason.”
Muhammad told the AP he admitted to his actions to police and said he was retaliating against the U.S. military.
“Yes, I did tell the police upon my arrest that this was an act of retaliation, and not a reaction on the soldiers personally,” Muhammad said. He called it “a act, for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military.”
In the interview, Muhammad also disputed his lawyer’s claim that he had been “radicalized” in a Yemeni prison and said fellow prisoners that some call terrorists were actually “very good Muslim brothers.”
Muhammad, born Carlos Bledsoe, spoke of wanting revenge for claims that American military personnel desecrated copies of the Quran and killed or raped Muslims.
“For this reason, no Muslim, male or female, sane or insane, little, big, small, old can accept or tolerate,” he said.
He said the U.S. military would never treat Christians and their Scriptures in the same manner.
“U.S. soldiers are killing innocent Muslim men and women. We believe that we have to strike back. We believe in eye for an eye. We don’t believe in turning the other cheek,” he said.
Asked whether he considered the shootings at the recruiting center an act of war, Muhammad said “I didn’t know the soldiers personally, but yes, it was an attack of retaliation. And I feel that other attacks, not by me or people I know, but definitely Muslims in this country and others elsewhere, are going to attack for doing those things they did,” especially desecrating the Quran.
He claims the shootings were not planned and that he acted “in the heat of the moment.” Muhammad’s lawyer, Jim Hensley, says his client was tortured and “radicalized” in a Yemeni prison. Muhammad contradicts his own attorney, claiming, “Those claims … are all lies,” Muhammad said Tuesday. “That never happened in Yemen. The officials dealt with me in a gentle way.” Bledsoe/Muhammad is a recent convert to Islam, not someone who was born and steeped in the religion.Click here for reuse options!
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