On January 24th in Dearborn, Michigan, Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran, was arrested at a traffic stop near the Islamic Center of America, one of the largest mosques in the United States. Police got a tip after Stockham went to a local bar and bragged that he was going to cause a big explosion. Police officers found explosives in the trunk of his car.
This is not the first time that Stockham has been in trouble with the law. In 1977, he held a psychiatrist hostage and, in 1985, planted a bomb in an airport in Nevada. He also threatened to kill President George W. Bush. According to some sources, Stockham says that after returning from Vietnam he converted to Islam and is now part of an Indonesian mujahadin group. It is not clear, then, why he would target a mosque. Moreover, Stockham rejected to be represented by a Muslim lawyer. Stockham faces 20 years in prison on a terrorism charge.
This story comes after increased attacks on mosques around the United States, according to the Council of America- Islamic Relations. Interestingly, this story did not get much attention in mainstream media. Some may argue that it was because of the protests in Egypt that began the next day. However, I have to wonder if it had been an attempted attack by a Muslim on a major church, what kind of coverage that story would receive.
Did you hear about this story? What was your reaction? Why do you think there was little mention of this attempted attack in the news? Please share your thoughts below.