'Anti-government' activist arrested after planning to blow up Michigan mosque

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A man has been charged with making a terrorist threat and carrying explosives after targeting one of the biggest mosques in the U.S.

Roger Stockham, 63, was arrested last week outside the Islamic Centre of America in Dearborn, Michigan as mourners gathered inside for a funeral.

Stockham, from California, is now facing felony charges that carry up to 35 years in prison after his attempted attack was thwarted.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said Stockham was found with a large but undisclosed quantity of class-C fireworks including M-80s, which are outlawed in Michigan.

'I was comfortable with the fact that we had taken him off the street - he isn't going anywhere,' Chief Haddad told the Associated Press news agency.

'I think the society he wanted to impact is safe.'

uthorities believe Stockham was acting alone but still take him 'very seriously', Chief Haddad added.

He said Stockham has 'a long history of anti-government activities', though he declined to elaborate.

The suspect is being held on a $500,00 bail bond, with a requirement that he be fitted with a GPS tether if the bail is posted.

A press release from the mosque in question, situated in one of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S., said the arrest came after an employee at a local business tipped off police after overhearing 'threats against Muslims or Arabs'.

The release added: 'Crimes like this recent attempt and others intended to create terror among our citizens must be identified for what they are - useless attempts at dividing a great diverse nation.'

Chief Haddad confirmed he had contact the mosque leader, Imam Hassan al-Qazwini, early Tuesday to let him know of the arrest, and later met with Mr Qazwini and mosque board members.

The board shared concerns about copycat crimes if the arrest was publicised, Chief Haddad admitted.

'We never want to put something out there that gives someone the "how-to",' Haddad said.

Dearborn, located about 10 miles west of Detroit, is the capital of the Detroit area's Arab-American community, which is one of the largest in the U.S.

January 31, 2010, Mail online

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