Arizona bomb suspect charged with previous murder
MARICOPA, Arizona (AP) — An Iraqi man charged with detonating a homemade bomb outside a federal building in Arizona now faces additional charges, including first-degree murder in a killing just days before the bombing, authorities said Monday.
Abdullatif Ali Aldosary is charged with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two firearms counts in the Nov. 27, 2012, killing of an employee at the Arizona Grain processing facility in Maricopa, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Phoenix.
Orlando Requena, 26, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds. He had worked for several years at the facility, where Aldosary also was employed for a time.
Authorities announced last week that Aldosary had been indicted on 18 state felony counts, including 14 attempted first-degree murder charges, arson and use of explosives in the Nov. 30 bombing outside a Social Security Administration building in Casa Grande, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Phoenix. No one was injured in the blast. Prosecutors said the attempted murder charges stem from 14 employees who were inside the building at the time of the explosion.
Authorities say a search of Aldosary’s home turned up documents hidden behind a picture that explained how to build a bomb. Aldosary also sought information on how to create explosive material known as RDX, “considered one of the most powerful of the military high explosives,” according to the initial criminal complaint. “RDX is believed to have been used in many bomb plots, including terrorist plots.”
FBI Special Agent Douglas Price would not comment on whether the bombing was believed to have been terrorism-related. Authorities would not discuss a motive for the killing of Requena, described by relatives as a friendly man and a father of three sons with no known enemies.
“He was a good man and a good father,” said the victim’s aunt, Alberta Requena. “We were worried that somebody out there was coming to get us and our family. It’s a relief now not having to wonder if this was somebody that we knew.”
Authorities declined to discuss whether Requena’s killing and the bombing were connected, or if Aldosary worked alone or with others.
“Today is the beginning of the attempt to seek justice for the victims,” Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles said at a news conference attended by Maricopa police, the victim’s relatives and officials from the FBI.
Aldosary came to the United States legally in 1997 from his home country of Iraq.
In 2008, he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated harassment charges. He was sentenced to two months in jail and three years of probation. But his probation was revoked a year later, and he was ordered to serve a year in prison.
Aldosary had sought help from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar’s office in 2011 in obtaining permanent residency. Gosar has said he contacted Homeland Security, which responded in a letter that Aldosary’s case had been put on hold “pursuant to the terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility” under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Authorities say he was denied a green card in 2008 because he fought with anti-government forces trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Basra, Iraq, in 1991.
Gosar’s office questioned why the man hadn’t been deported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Aldosary’s previous arrests on harassment charges and a probation violation weren’t considered deportable offenses.