Threat To Mosque – Maybe Not What It Seems

This just popped at Memeorandum – I had seen it a short time before over at Fox News. Basically, a 63-year old California man was apprehended outside a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan mosque with “explosives” – actually identified as “Class C fireworks” in the story.

On Monday, Dearborn Police arrested a California man on suspicion of attempting a terrorist act at the Islamic Center of America. 63 year old Roger Stockham was found in the Mosque’s parking lot with explosive materials.

A few minutes of searching the interwebby brought up two stories from 1985 that may – emphasize may here – cast this story in a somewhat different light. In those stories, authorities were searching for and arrested a man named Roger Dale Stockham – age given as 38 – the guy was a first class nut job according to the stories and had a long arrest record for some really bizarre behavior. Here’s some of the searching for story:

Stockham first made news in 1977, when he held a psychiatrist hostage in a Century City office building, using two bombs and a pistol. After more than four hours, he released the psychiatrist unharmed and surrendered to police.

Two years later, after continued treatment for mental problems, Stockham reportedly kidnaped his son from a foster home in Santa Barbara, rented a light plane and flew to Los Angeles International Airport, where he contacted the control tower, reported that he had “a bomb, a pistol and a 9-year-old boy” on board and demanded a jetliner to fly him to Iran.

Crash Near Home

Abandoning that effort after the FBI joined in the radio conversations, Stockham took off once more in the light plane and headed south. Moments later, the aircraft crashed in a canyon about a mile from Stockham’s home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Emerging from the wreckage unharmed, Stockham and the boy were discovered by sheriff’s deputies. Stockham was arrested.

That Stockham set fire to oil tanks and planted a pipe bomb at the Reno, Nevada airport (the reason he was being hunted). We are not talking a normal person here. The age 38 in 1985 gibes pretty closely with age 63 in 2011 (straight arithmetic says 64 – well within the margin of error for differing months of the year) , so it seems pretty likely that this may be the same guy. In which case, I really wouldn’t make too much of this just yet until we know a lot more.

(Wonder if I’ll get a link from Memeorandum on this post…)

UPDATE: Some interesting words from another article on the arrest:

Haddad said authorities believe Stockham was acting alone but still take him “very seriously.” He said Stockham has “a long history of anti-government activities,” though he declined to elaborate. (Emphasis added)

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