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Stepdad of Accused Soldier Arrested in La.

March 28, 2003

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ The former stepfather of a U.S. soldier accused of attacking his own unit in Kuwait was arrested Thursday on a federal weapons charge.

William Mohammad Bilal is accused of being a felon with several weapons in his home. He was in custody Thursday night, but authorities did not immediately have information about his bail or if he had an attorney.

According to a federal court affidavit, Bilal was convicted of aggravated rape and sentenced to life in prison in 1970. In 1979, Gov. Edwin Edwards commuted the sentence and Bilal was freed after serving 12 years. When his parole expired in 2001, he applied for clemency from the state pardon board, but it was denied.

Officials said a tipster who claimed Bilal had threatened her several times told them about the weapons.

Bilal was married for five years to the mother of Sgt. Asan Akbar. Akbar is accused of lobbing hand grenades into a brigade command center of the 101st Airborne Division on Sunday. The attack killed two officers and injured 14 other soldiers.

U.S. Attorney David Dugas said there was no indication of a connection between the two cases.

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