In The News: New Court Document Details About Fort Riley Bombing Attack Released

Published: 5 May 2016

Reported by Caroline Sweeney of KSNT in Topeka

Court paperwork filed Thursday provide new details about a plot to bomb Fort Riley in April 2015.

The 10-page document is part of the case against Alexander E. Blair. This paperwork indicates Blair “requests permission to change his plea to guilty” for the conspiracy charge leveled against him.

In May of last year Christopher Joseph, Blair’s attorney, entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client.

The charges against Blair stem from an April 2015 incident outside Fort Riley involving John T. Booker, Jr., of Topeka.

Booker was implicated in a plot to detonate a 1,000 pound bomb outside the gates of the military instillation near Manhattan.

During the investigation it was revealed Booker was plotting to detonate the explosive, that was inside a car, as an act of jihad.

In February, Booker signed a plea agreement with prosecutors who recommend he spend 30 years in prison.

At the time, Barry Grissom said, “If this defendant had succeeded, American soldiers would have died.”

Booker admitted he believed he was helping the Islamic State or ISIS terrorist group. However, Booker was actually speaking with two undercover informants with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The agency began it’s investigation into Booker in March 2014.

On Thursday, information released in court documents show how Booker asked Blair for help.

In early 2015, Booker asked Blair for $100 to open and maintain a storage unit in Topeka.

“Part of Booker’s preparations for the attack included renting a storage unit in Topeka, where components for the VBIED (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) would be stored,” court documents read.

Booker “befriended” Blair and introduced him to the Islamic faith. Documents indicate the pair attended the Islamic Center of Topeka.

“Mr. Blair, who has a genetic condition known as Williams Syndrome, rarely made friends. He was lonely and receptive to Booker’s interest in talking and being friends,” attorneys indicated in the documents released Thursday.

Williams Syndrome was not defined in the court paperwork, but a Williams Syndrome website expands saying, “It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music.”

A March 17, 2015 phone call between the two men was recorded and shows what Booker wanted from Blair.

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