x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Arrested Californian 'planned to blow up US mosque'

Man aged 63 charged with possessing explosives with unlawful intent after he was stopped in car park of mosque in Detroit suburb,

DETROIT // A California man allegedly travelling with explosives in his vehicle with the intention of blowing up one of the nation's largest mosques where mourners had gathered for a funeral was arrested in a Detroit suburb.

Roger Stockham, 63, was charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism and with possessing explosives with an unlawful intent. He remains in prison on a $500,000 bond.

Mr Stockham had a large but undisclosed quantity of class-C fireworks including M-80s, which are outlawed in Michigan, the police chief, Ronald Haddad, said. "I was comfortable with the fact that we had taken him off the street - he isn't going anywhere," Mr Haddad said on Sunday. "I think the society he wanted to impact is safe."

Mr Haddad said Mr Stockham was arrested last week without incident in the car park of the Islamic Centre of America, while a large group was gathered inside. He said police received a 911 call from a resident.

Mr Haddad said authorities believe Mr Stockham was acting alone but still take him "very seriously". He said Mr Stockham has "a long history of anti-government activities".

Mr Haddad called the mosque's imam, Hassan al Qazwini, to let him know of the arrest.

* Associated Press