Family of accused terrorist speaks out

TOPEKA (KSNT) – We’ve now learned more about accused terrorist John Thomas Booker Jr. and his background.

KSNT visited the home of Booker’s parents, where neighbors informed us that Booker Jr. attended Topeka West High School where he was a member of the Junior ROTC program.

Booker’s father also spoke with KSNT briefly on the street in front of his home, and this is what he had to say:  “John did not live here, I want to make sure that gets out clearly ok? I would appreciate if you put that out publicly ok?” said Booker. “He was staying with my nephew, I don’t even know where that is. I talked to John at least four times in the last year.”

He went on to explain he did not have his nephew’s contact information, his wife did but she was too upset to speak with us.

Finally he informed KSNT “I’m a veteran, I disagree with what happened, I’m upset right now.”

A majority of the neighbors KSNT spoke with said they didn’t see or hear much from Booker Jr.

One neighbor did say that her children grew up and went to school with Booker and his twin brother. She says his parents are wonderful people and she’s shocked that their son would have any involvement with ISIS.

None of those neighbors wanted to speak on camera, but several Topeka community members we spoke with say they’re surprised to learn someone from here at home would be involved with a terrorist organization.

“I’m shocked that any one here would, have the values that they have or maybe I should say lack of values that they have,” said Charles O’Roke.

Others told us, with the internet today, unfortunately it’s something they think could happen anywhere.

“Everybody’s online and ISIS is worming its way into companies’ computer systems and taking over their computer systems, and obviously they’re getting the information about soldiers and publishing that information so I don’t think it’s impossible at all,” said Charles Wardlow.

KSNT plans to continue investigating to learn more about the storage locker Booker Jr. allegedly kept full of explosives in Topeka.

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