Men accused of unrelated bomb plots in Ill., Texas
CHICAGO (AP) -- Authorities say they didn't know each other, but two men allegedly tried to blow up separate buildings in the U.S. this week. Both are now in federal custody.
Michael Finton was arrested Wednesday in Springfield, Ill., after federal officials say he attempted to set off explosives in a van outside a federal courthouse in the Illinois capital. Finton also went by the name Talib Islam and idolized American born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh.
Yesterday in Dallas, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was arrested after federal officials say he placed what he believed to be a car bomb in a parking garage beneath the 60-story Fountain Place office tower. Smadi is a Jordanian national.
In both cases, decoy devices were provided to the men by FBI agents posing as al-Qaida operatives. Both suspects are charged with trying to detonate a weapon of mass destruction and face up to life in prison if convicted. Finton also is charged with attempting to murder federal officers or employees.
Finton appeared in federal court in Springfield yesterday. Smadi is scheduled to appear in a Texas court today.