From White Supremacist to Muslim Jihadist
A young man from Clarkston, Wash. - who idolized Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and nearly died exploding a test bomb before becoming interested in radical jihadists - was sentenced Tuesday to 12.5 years in federal prison.
The federal investigation and prosecution of Joseph Jefferey Brice shines a spotlight on the antigovernment, anti-Semitic links shared between Islamic jihadists and white supremacists.
“Tim’s characteristics are nearly the same as myself, physically (and) politically,” Brice, 23, wrote in an Internet message posted on Jan. 14, 2010.
But the former “self-declared, conservative, right-wing Christian,” appeared to undergo a rapid radicalization to Islam after he nearly died on April 18, 2010, when an acetone peroxide ammonium nitrate bomb he built prematurely exploded near his rural home in eastern Washington.
Local sheriff’s deputies wrote that case off as a teenage prank and didn’t seek criminal charges, but federal investigators later became interested and launched an investigation after a backpack bomb attempt in Spokane in 2011.
“The actual nature and circumstances of manufacturing the ‘unregistered
Firearm’ … is nothing like lighting firecrackers in the driveway,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Smoot wrote in a memo for the sentencing in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
Rather, the prosecutor said, the homemade bomb that left Brice unconscious for 12 days “was the result of years of internet research, experimentation