Second man charged in alleged plot to bomb Kansas military base

Another man is charged in an alleged plot to detonate a bomb at Ft. Riley military base in Kansas

A second Kansas man has been charged in connection with an alleged plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at the Ft. Riley military base on behalf of the Islamic State, federal prosecutors said.

Alexander Blair, 28, of Topeka was charged Friday with one count of failing to report a felony. Prosecutors said Blair knew of co-defendant John Booker's plan to detonate a suicide bomb at Ft. Riley near Manhattan, Kan., and to “kill as many soldiers as possible.”

Blair chose not to report what he knew to the authorities, according to the criminal complaint. Blair faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Blair shared some of Booker’s "extremist views" and lent him money to rent a storage unit to hold components for a bomb, the complaint said.

Booker, also known as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, was arrested Friday as part of a months-long FBI investigation. He was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and two other counts.

“We face a continued threat from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of causes,” said U.S. Atty. Barry Grissom. “Anyone who seeks to harm this nation and its people will be brought to justice.”

Booker, also a Topeka resident, had spent months plotting with two confidential informants he believed would support his mission to join Islamic State or commit an attack on U.S. soil, according to the criminal complaint.

He thought the informants had helped him gather 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate in order to plant a bomb in a truck they would then drive to Ft. Riley, but the components of the supposed bomb were inert.

The FBI became aware of Booker in March 2014 when he published a series of Facebook posts expressing his desire to "wage jihad." The FBI became aware of the posts just weeks after Booker had contacted a U.S. Army recruiter in Kansas City, Mo.

He was supposed to report for basic training in April, the complaint said.

“Getting ready to be killed in jihad is a HUGE adrenaline rush!! I am so nervous," Booker wrote on Facebook, according to the complaint. "NOT because I’m scared to die but I am eager to meet my lord.”

If convicted, Booker faces life in prison.

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Times staff writer James Queally contributed to this report. 

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