| NASHVILLE, July 29 (UPI) -- The botched house attack and a subsequent slaying and rampage allegedly by a Nashville man was kept quiet pending an FBI investigation, a local rabbi said.
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Abdul Hakim Muhammad, 25, faces charges in Arkansas of capital murder, attempted capital murder, aggravated assault and terrorist threatening for the firebombing with a Molotov cocktail of the Nashville home, which was the first part of his alleged multistate terror spree that ended when he opened fire on two Army recruiters, the Nashville Tennessean reported Thursday.
The newspaper said that until Tuesday, the information about the case was not made public.
Muhammad, a convert to Islam, was angry about U.S. military action in the Middle East and attacked a Nashville home, believing it was the residence of Orthodox Rabbi Rabbi Saul Strosberg of Congregation Sherith Israel, the Tennessean said.
But the firebomb bounced off the window.
On June 1, 2009, Muhammad allegedly went on to kill Pvt. William Long and wound Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwulathe at an Army recruiting station in Florence, Ky., the Tennessean reported.
Strosberg said he was shocked when he learned from the FBI last year of the failed attack, but was instructed by authorities not to talk about what was an ongoing investigation.
"He wasn't really an expert at this Molotov cocktail business. He was not very bright but was dangerous", Strosberg said.
"The fact that it made sense in his mind to kill a rabbi is just nuts", he said, adding that, having never met the suspect, he didn't know why he was a target.
Muhammad is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. If convicted, he may face the death penalty. Muhammad told the court he wants to plead guilty, but the death-penalty possibility precludes such a plea under state law, the newspaper said. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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