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calendar   Tuesday - January 26, 2010

Wannabe Jihadi Captured In My Neighborhood

Oh Joy. Now all the local cops will be going haywire.

Virgina Man Arrested in NJ with weapons stash and military base maps



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Arrested: Lloyd Woodson



h/t to Vilmar and Rusty

BRANCHBURG—A Virginia man who once spent eight years on the run from naval investigators was arrested in Somerset County early today with a trove of high-powered weapons, including a grenade-launcher and two assault rifles, along with maps of a U.S. military base and a civilian neighborhood, authorities said.

The federal government’s Joint Terrorism Task Force quickly joined the investigation into Lloyd R. Woodson, 43, who had been staying at a Branchburg motel since last week. Woodson, whose last known address was in Reston, Va., was wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying one of the assault rifles — customized to shoot .50-caliber rounds — when police arrested him after a chase and a scuffle in a local trailer park.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest declined to speculate about Woodson’s intentions but remarked on the suspect’s arsenal, which included hundreds of rounds of ammunition, some of them hollow-point bullets, and a night-vision scope.

“In our experience, for private citizens to have this type of armament is quite unusual in Somerset County,” Forrest said. “If you’re over in Afghanistan, it wouldn’t be rare.”

Mixed in among Woodson’s belongings, the prosecutor said, was a Middle Eastern, red-and-white traditional headdress.

Forrest, citing security risks, declined to identify the military base or the civilian community depicted on Woodson’s maps. He said the civilian neighborhood was not in New Jersey.

A U.S. Navy spokesman, Lt. Justin Cole, said Woodson joined the service in February 1988 and served aboard the USS Orion, a submarine tender, before deserting in April 1989. It would be eight years before he was returned to Navy custody, Cole said. A month later, in August 1997, Woodson was discharged.

It remained unclear last night whether he was passing through New Jersey or settling in for a longer period. He took a room last week at the Red Mill Inn, on Route 22. Shortly before 4 a.m. today, he was in a Quick Chek convenience store on Route 28 when someone in the store called police, saying Woodson had been acting suspiciously.

Branchburg Patrolman Steven Cronce, the first officer to arrive, began to question Woodson and noted he was “extremely nervous,” the prosecutor said. Cronce also noticed a bulge in the front of Woodson’s green, military-style jacket, Forrest said.

When the officer continued to question Woodson, the suspect ran from the store and into the nearby Regency Trailer Park on Route 22, where officers found him. Forrest said Woodson fought with the officers, who subdued him with pepper spray. Under his coat was a ballistic vest with a reinforced steel plate and the customized assault rifle, whose ammunition is typically used in heavy weapons mounted on military vehicles.

They found a second assault rifle, a second vest, the grenade-launcher, ammunition, night scope, maps and a police scanner in Woodson’s room at the Red Mill Inn, where manager Hemant Desai said he’d seen no hint of trouble during the suspect’s stay.



Police found a loaded assault rifle with a defaced serial number as well as magazines with ball-type and hollow-point ammunition on 43-year-old Lloyd R. Woodson after tackling to him to the ground at the Regency Trailer Park on Route 22, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest.
...
Police noticed a Bushmaster semi-automatic .223-caliber assault rifle inside Woodson’s coat during the struggle and found the ammunition and vest once he was subdued. The assault rifle had been modified to fire .50-caliber ammunition. A room key in Woodson’s possession led police to the Red Mill Inn on Route 22, Forrest said.

In a search of Woodson’s room, police seized a Bushmaster .308-caliber semi-automatic assault rifle with a defaced serial number, a 37-mm Cobray grenade launcher, a second ballistic vest, a rifle mountable night vision scope, a police scanner, a military-style backpack, a map of a U.S. military installation and a map of an out-of-state civilian community, a Middle Eastern red and white traditional headdress, and hundreds of additional .50-caliber and .308-caliber ammunition along with military pouches and garrison equipment, according to Forrest.



Woodson was being held at the Somerset County Jail on numerous charges, including unlawful possession of weapons, possession of prohibited weapons, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest.

Bail has not yet been set. Woodson is tentatively scheduled for an initial court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.




So what do we have here? Is this a potential terrorist captured a little bit early? A gang banger wannabe nipped in the bud? A crazed Rambo just about ready to explode? Or just some regular guy who happens to be black arrested for accidentally carrying concealed in New Jersey, which is entirely legal in Virginia?

Well, let’s try and do some mustard cutting. For starters, this guy deserted the Navy. They caught up with him, processed him, and kicked him out. That means he’s got a Dishonorable Discharge. Which means he has NO 2nd Amendment rights. He should not be in possession of any firearms at all. And it is a federal offense to deface serial numbers on firearms, albeit a minor one. Aside from that, all the stuff in his possession was entirely legal.

The “grenade launcher” is actually just a flare gun. Sure, you can mount it under the barrel of your “assault weapon” and make your gun look all super-Rambo. But the only kind of ammo it can shoot is smoke bombs and distress flares. The Cobray will not chamber 40mm grenade ammo. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if this guy had had actual grenade ammo, even homemade stuff, it would be the very first bit of info in all these news articles.

You can buy the bullet proof vests and police radio scanners in lots of places. Same goes for the night vision stuff and all the military surplus clothing and stuff. Aside from the serial number thing, all the rifles, all the ammo, and all the magazines are entirely legal everywhere in America except New Jersey. And if he was just passing through, they can’t charge him with a thing. Ok, they can, but it won’t stick.

The .50 caliber assault rifle thingy is an AR-15 replacement upper chambered for the .50 Beowulf cartridge. Think of it as a semi-automatic .45-70; a 300 grain bullet at 1850 feet per second. Nice for deer out to 125 yards, but not at all close to the “preferred weapon of terrorists, able to shoot down airliners” .50 BMG cartridge. Hell, it ain’t even in the same universe as that one. The Beowulf isn’t really that much more powerful than a .44 magnum.

Very interesting that he was carrying the .50 under his clothes, while wearing the flack vest, and that the cops only found it when they wrestled him to the ground. Even with a minimum barrel and a folding stock, an AR is not exactly a concealed carry piece. You’d need a very large and bulky coat to hide that under. And yesterday it was so warm around here we had the windows open and I was out and about in short sleeves with no coat. Even late last night it was still warm enough to be outside without even a light jacket. Somebody wearing an underarm carry rig an a great big parka would have looked rather out of place. He must have looked like the Michelin Man in olive drab. So, hell yeah, at 4 in the morning the guy in the convenience store would be on the phone to the cops in a heartbeat seeing that in his store. Even in the anomalous run down area where this happened. The rest of Hunterdon and Somerset counties are pretty well to do. That one little 5 mile strip along Route 22 is an economic hole, with collapsing old houses, empty office buildings, boarded up stores, and a really low rent small and scruffy trailer park.  But I don’t think it’s a crime, even in NJ to wear a bullet proof vest under a jacket.

One of the problems with anti-terrorism: if the cops catch the guy too soon they have nothing but a bag full of rinky-dink charges like these. If they catch him too late, then dozens or hundreds of people are already dead. He might not even be a muslim. The red and white kaffiya mentioned above could just be a do-rag of some kind. After all, those things are just a square of fabric and a bit of rope. It’s not like they’re Louis Vitton originals.

UPDATE 1: It is not impossible that the .50 caliber conversion was for the .50 BMG cartridge. Such conversions do exist. They also cost at least $2145, and you wind up with a 1 shot, bolt action rifle. And while they do make a version with an 18” barrel, shooting such a thing freehand would probably break your shoulder and deafen you. These things are not sold in stores. You have to order them custom made. I’m sticking with my contention that it was a .50 Beowulf.

UPDATE 2: The FBI has announced that this guy and his guns and armor is “not a terrorism thing”. Nothing to see here, move along. So you know what that means. It means the fucker is a terrorist, and they caught him dead to rights but before he could go all SJS (Sudden Jihad Syndrome). Because it’s the FBI’s job to lie about such things, always.

“Woodson does not appear to have a link to any known terrorist groups, nor a specific terrorist plot,” the FBI said in a statement. “However, the matter is still under investigation and these should only be considered preliminary findings.”

UPDATE 3: How much do you want to bet that that “map of an out of state civilian community” was to that “entirely peaceful” jihadi training camp up in Hancock NY? That’s only an hour or two up the road from here. We will never know.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/26/2010 at 02:20 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeTerrorists •  
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