Feb 27 2010
Arlington, TX- MUSLIMS arrested with pipe bombs in car. But you won’t know they are Muslims because the Media use headlines such as these:
‘Arlington couple with pipe bombs in car to remain in jail until trial
‘Woman overstated power of alleged pipe bombs’
‘Tarrant woman’s case shows challenge authorities face in distinguishing between erratic behavior, real threats’
A judge on Tuesday said Kimberly “Asma” Al-Homsi, 45, and an 18-year-old friend would remain in jail until tried on charges related to the possession of several pipe bombs.
Al-Homsi and Yasinul Alan Ansari, 18, both of Arlington, appeared in a Tarrant County federal court Tuesday afternoon before Magistrate Judge Charles Bleil following their arrest after being pulled over at the end of a police pursuit Saturday.
Bleil said at Tuesday’s hearing that the pair must remain in jail because they are a flight risk. They are charged with a single count each of intentionally possessing an unregistered firearm — in this case a destructive device, the materials for pipe bombs.
During the hearing, federal authorities told Bleil that Al-Homsi has told them during questioning after their arrest that the pair made three pipe bombs out of materials, including ball bearings, purchased February 6 and 7 at Home Depot and Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Authorities did not say whether Al-Homsi said what she planned to do with the explosive devices. Neither Al-Homsi nor Ansari, who will get court-appointed attorneys, has yet entered a plea. About 5 p.m. Saturday, a motorist called 911 from State Highway 360 in Arlington to report that someone in a pickup had pointed a weapon at him in an apparent road-rage incident on West Abram Street.
Police found the truck and tried to pull it over, but the driver did not stop. The pursuit ended in Fort Worth after the truck carrying the pair hit ice at Rosedale Street near Loop 820. One of the pair told officers there was an “incendiary device” in the truck, authorities have said. Authorities found three pipes containing black powder which were detonated by bomb technicians, authorities said.
On Tuesday, they appeared in court wearing the same camouflage clothing they’d had on when arrested. Al-Homsi had shaved her head some time before the police chase. In 2005, Al-Homsi waved a fake grenade at a motorist on Central Expressway during a road-rage incident. She was put on probation for having a hoax bomb. That probation was revoked after July 2007, when she was arrested after a six-hour police standoff at her Arlington home and accused of having a pipe fashioned into an illegal firearm. Police also found black powder, shotgun shells, pipes and putty.
On several occasions, also in 2007, Al-Homsi and a friend were seen conducting what appeared to be surveillance at Dallas Love Field and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. They were clad in traditional Muslim garb with camouflage pants underneath during at least one of the incidents.
Al- Homsi has also claimed a friendship with Wadih el Hage, a former Arlington resident and former personal secretary of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He received a life sentence for his part in a bombing conspiracy.
In interviews with The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV at the time, Al-Homsi said that she was being harassed because of stereotypes about her religion. She has denied having any links to terrorism. DALLAS NEWS