Yesterday, a former neo-Nazi killed his two roommates and then barged into a shopping mall taking two people hostage. He claimed that his roommates mocked Islam. While he claims to have converted to Islam recently, there is neither any sign that he accepted to Islam or he being in contact with any Islamic center in Tampa.
It must be noted that while there are instances of people converting to Islam and Muslims converting to Christianity in the US, the conversion to Islam takes place under the supervision of a cleric and usually a new Muslim is brought to a Mosque for shahadah (the ceremony to announce one’s conversion or reversion to Islam).
While Devon Arthurs has been put in jail for the killing of his two friends who belonged to Atomwaffen group, the police that had gone to find the victims ended up finding explosives at another neo Nazi. 22-year old Brandon Russell was arrested after his friends, Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, were fatally shot, Tampa Police and federal authorities say.
But police claim that Brandon Russell is not related to the twin killings. Officials claim that Homicide investigators found explosives and chemicals while searching Russell’s home after the killings. He has been charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material, federal prosecutors say.
It is being reported in the media here that the neo-nazi, Brandon Russell came home from Army National Guard duty on May 19 and found two of his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, dead of gunshot wounds to the head in the Tampa apartment leased in his name.
It is said that he was found crying when he saw two of his palls killed. FBI Special Agent Timothy Swanson wrote in an affidavit that Russell, dressed in full U.S. Army camouflage, was outside the apartment “crying and visibly upset” when Tampa police officers arrived there with the suspect in the killings, Devon Arthurs, who lived with Russell and the two victims. Arthurs told police Russell was his roommate and “did not know what was going on.”
Officials claim that while searching the home of the accused, police found a cooler containing explosives. Officials claim that the cooler had “a white cake-like substance that two FBI and TPD bomb squad technicians immediately recognized through their training and experience as HMTD (an explosive also known as hexamethylene triperoxide diamine”. Officials also discovered potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, more than one pound of ammonium nitrate, nitro methane, hexamine and citric acid. These substances are usually used in making bombs. If that was not all, the officials also discovered electric matches and empty 5.56 caliber ammunition cases “with fuses that could be used to detonate destructive devices once the HMTD was combined with the casing.” All these substances were found in the apartment where Russell lived.
Russell reportedly told the officials that he used the HMTD in 2013 while he was a member of the engineering club at the University of South Florida, telling the FBI it helped to “boost homemade rockets and to send balloons into the atmosphere for testing.”