TOPEKA (KSNT) – As we continue coverage on a story we brought you Friday. John t. Booker Jr. is charged with plotting a suicide bomb attack on Fort Riley. Booker Jr. also goes by the name Muhammad Abdullah Hassan. Prosecutors say he told an FBI informant he wanted to kill Americans on behalf of ISIS.
“These groups fill voids in these people’s lives, they need something, something is missing,” says retired FBI agent and expert, Michael Tabman. A void that for john t. Booker Jr. couldn’t seem to fill.
“He was on medication for a long time, but eventually he stopped taking it,” Omar Hazim, Imam at the Islamic Center of Topeka.
Those close to Booker Jr. say he struggled with mental illness, that, and easy access to the ISIS message through social media made him a candidate for what experts call self-radicalization.
“You can reach millions of people with the click of a button and not only are you reaching all these people but now you the power of you know visuals and videos,” says Tabman.
Something that Hazim, is well aware of, “It’s possible that one terrorist groups somewhere in this country or out of this country would have made the means available for him to do that.”
The ability to reach so many all arcoss the world, including here in Kansas, makes it that much easier for groups like ISIS to get followers and makes it that much harder for the FBI to prevent it.
Experts say there’s no guarantee there aren’t others out there just like Booker Jr. But Tabman says the best thing to do is, “see something, says something.”
Meanwhile, the second person arrested in the bombing plot has a federal court date Thursday. 28 year old Alexander Blair of Topeka was charged Friday with making a loan to john t. Booker junior so he could buy the material used to make the bomb, knew booker planned to detonate the bomb and for failing to tell police of the plot.
He’s plead not guilty and will be in court Thursday afternoon to learn whether he’ll be allowed an opportunity to post bail pending his trial on the charges.