Share this story...
Latest News

Topeka man charged with conspiracy in Fort Riley bomb plot

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka man has been charged with conspiracy in a plot to bomb the Fort Riley military base, according to a court document unsealed Tuesday.

Alexander E. Blair, 28, of Topeka is accused of conspiring with another Topeka man in the planned attack. Blair previously had only been charged with knowing about the plot but failing to report it to authorities.

His attorney, Christopher Joseph, acknowledged the new conspiracy charge is more serious, but declined further comment on the case.

The charge comes in an unsealed criminal information that initially was filed on April 23. Such documents, which can be filed when a suspect waives indictment by a grand jury, are done with a defendant’s consent.

A criminal information can sometimes signal a plea deal is in the works, or at the least indicate that the prosecutor and defense attorney are talking to each other.

John T. Booker Jr., 20, of Topeka was arrested April 10 while trying to arm what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb inside a van near the Army post an hour west of Topeka, according to court documents. Blair also was arrested later that day, but was ordered released days later into his parents’ custody.

The government alleges in the newly unsealed information that Blair gave Booker money on March 17 to rent a storage unit in Topeka to store components he believed would be used to build an explosive device for the attack at Fort Riley.

Prosecutors contend in a related case that Booker told an FBI informant he wanted to kill Americans and engage in violent jihad on behalf of the Islamic State group, and said he believed such an attack was justified because the Quran “says to kill your enemies wherever they are,” according to a criminal complaint.

Booker, who is being held without bond, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property by means of an explosive, and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.