Second Topeka Man Charged in Connection with Car Bomb Plot
KANSAS CITY, KS—A second Topeka man was charged Friday in connection with an alleged plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at the Fort Riley military base near Manhattan, Kan., U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Alexander E. Blair, 28, Topeka, Kan., is charged with one count of failing to report a felony. A criminal complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Topeka alleges Blair knew of a plot by co-defendant John T. Booker, Jr., 20, Topeka, Kan., to detonate a bomb at Fort Riley.
The complaint alleges that in March 2014, the FBI began an investigation into Booker, who also called himself Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, concerning statements he made online indicating he wanted to wage jihad and to die in the process. Booker was arrested April 10, 2015, and charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and two other counts.
During the investigation of Booker, law enforcement officers learned that Blair shared some of Booker’s extremist views and loaned Booker money for the purpose of renting a storage unit that Booker used to store components for a bomb. The complaint alleges Blair knew of Booker’s intent to detonate a bomb at Fort Riley and to “kill as many soldiers as possible.” Despite being convinced that Booker was serious about carrying out the plot, the complaint alleges, Blair chose not to report what he knew to the authorities.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.