3 Year Anniversary – Little Rock, Arkansas Recruiting Station Attack

Three years ago today, on June 1, 2009, two soldiers were attacked outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas, killing one and wounding the second. Minutes after the shooting the suspect, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (aka Carlos Bledsoe), was apprehended by police as he fled the scene. Muhammad was armed with a semiautomatic rifle, .22-caliber rifle and handgun.

The soldier killed in the attack was identified as Pvt. William A. Long, 23, of Arkansas. The wounded soldier, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, was also an Arkansas native.

Muhammad, a Muslim convert, told police in an interview that he was angry about U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and the killing of Muslims in those countries. Prior to the attack, in September 2007, Muhammad had traveled to Yemen where he taught English and took Arabic courses. While in Yemen, Muhammad had also married a Yemeni teacher in Sana’a. Shortly after, on November 14, 2007, he was arrested in Aden after overstaying his visa. Authorities found him with a fraudulent Somali passport which could have been used to travel to Somalia or to extend his stay in Yemen.

Some reports indicate that Muhammad became further radicalized while in prison after being arrested. Shortly after his release and return to the U.S, Muhammad was visited and investigated by the FBI but was never arrested on any charges prior to carrying out the attack against the aforementioned soldiers. In July 2011, Muhammad was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after changing his plea.

On this three-year anniversary of the attack carried out in Little Rock, Arkansas, the threat of homegrown and lone-offender terrorist attacks against the U.S. remain. The HSDL has in its collections numerous documents regarding terrorism, radicalization, and homegrown threats facing the U.S. Below are a few articles in the HSDL database highlighting these issues.

Target America: The Little Rock, Arkansas, Recruiting Station Shooting

Homegrown Terrorism: The Threat to Military Communities Inside the United States: Hearing Before the United States House of Representatives, Committee Homeland Security and the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, One Hundred and Twelfth Congress, First Session, December 7, 2011

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat [November 15, 2011]

Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: September 2011

Lone Wolves: How to Prevent This Phenomenon?

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/s_4561