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Terror suspect: Iím a patriot
Times Leader ^ | 2/15/2006 | JERRY LYNOTT

Posted on 02/15/2006 8:12:39 AM PST by Born Conservative

Michael Reynolds, formerly of W-B, said he was trying to bait an al-Qaida operative.

Keeping Michael Curtis Reynolds quiet could prove to be difficult.

The former Wilkes-Barre resident accused by federal authorities of plotting to aid the al-Qaida terrorist network kept on talking against his lawyer’s advice on Dec. 15.

He is held on unrelated weapons charges and has not been charged with any terrorism-related offenses.

Last week he reportedly sent a letter from prison to a newspaper defending himself as someone intent on turning over a suspected terrorist to the proper authorities. And, at the time of his arrest two months ago in Idaho, according to a transcript of a Dec. 15 detention hearing, he spoke in some detail to authorities about what he claims are patriotic, not terroristic, activities.

He told authorities he planned to bait his al-Qaida contact so that the private military company he formerly worked for in Angola in Africa could “somehow effect some takedown,” according to the transcript, which was obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer and shared with the Times Leader.

The person acting as Reynolds’ al-Qaida contact was actually a Montana judge participating in the federal sting to lure him to retrieve a bag containing his $40,000 payment in a rest area approximately 25 to 30 miles away from his motel in Pocatello.

Reynolds, 47, is held without bail in the Lackawanna County Prison. He has reportedly mailed a letter to The Times-Tribune. The paper reported acting warden Janine M. Donate said the envelope postmarked Feb. 10 appeared to have come from the prison. The Times Leader has not received a similar letter.

Reynolds’ court-appointed attorney, Philip Gelso of Wilkes-Barre, declined comment on Tuesday. Gelso began representing Reynolds last month after Federal Public Defender Ysabel Williams asked to withdraw. In paperwork filed Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton, Williams said there were “irreconcilable differences regarding the defense of his case.”

Those differences became public a month earlier during the detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Malachy Mannion in Wilkes-Barre.

Mannion ordered Reynolds to be detained on two counts of unlawfully possessing hand grenades. But he added the U.S. Attorney’s Office also showed Reynolds posed a threat of violence based on the investigation that linked him with “attempting to assist al (Qaida) in the planning and the destruction of fuel facilities,” according a copy of the hearing transcript. Near the end of the hearing Reynolds interrupted Mannion who told him to confer with Williams, his attorney. “Your honor,” Williams said after talking with Reynolds, “my client wishes to make a statement. I advised him to remain silent several times. He still insists that he wants to make a statement.”

Mannion explained that he already made his decision on the detention issue, but Reynolds persisted.

“But, your honor, it’s a matter of security and safety,” said Reynolds.

Again Mannion told Reynolds to speak with Williams. “I did,” replied Reynolds. “And I talked with a lawyer in Idaho and nobody wants to do anything about it. The problem is, your honor, there’s a third grenade. It could be live. It’s not my property but nobody is searching for it because nobody knows the truth of this.” He continued, saying a brother in Indiana may have the grenade.

“He had three in the house,” Reynolds said. “ We were told they were fakes. And I’m worried there possibly could be another grenade either live or made live.” “That’s enough. That’s enough,” Williams interjected. Again Mannion addressed Williams and Reynolds and warned against making incriminating statements.

“Your honor, my client has been a very difficult client to control from day one,” said Williams. She acknowledged that Reynolds mentioned the grenade and added, “I don’t think there’s any truth to it.”

Two other grenades that resulted in a federal indictment against Reynolds were live and detonated by authorities. The first was found at a home on Scott Street in April 2005. The other was found in a storage unit at Appalachian Self Storage on Heinz Drive in December. Reynolds had stayed with his mother at the Scott Street home but left for Thailand where he taught English and math, according to the transcript. He returned to the area in November and stayed at the Red Roof Inn. Some of his personal belongings, including a desktop computer, had been kept in the storage unit.

During this time he also changed his mailing address to a home on Woodlawn Avenue in Mountain Top. A female resident, whom he met while previously working at Skirmish Paintball in Jim Thorpe, allowed him to have his mail delivered to her address. He later moved to Idaho to work for American Microsystems Inc. and had been staying at The Thunderbird Motel in Pocatello. Authorities said they arrested him as he approached the site of the money drop. They obtained search warrants for his motel room, his van and the storage unit on Mundy Street.

It was the second grenade in the storage unit that alarmed Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gurganus. The government prosecutor told Mannion that when authorities interviewed Reynolds after his arrest they notified him they were going to search the storage unit. Reynolds claimed there were no explosives in the unit, said Gurganus, according to the transcript. “And, again, when he was asked about any such thing, that’s what he claimed, that he was not a terrorist,” said Gurganus. Reynolds told authorities he acted alone and did not trust law enforcement enough to notify them of his actions. He had been in contact with a group that he believed “to be a radical terrorist group” for about a month and a half, according to the transcript. The drawings and plans he created on his computer and provided to the group would not work, Reynolds contended. The Star-Ledger in Newark reported Tuesday that one of the planned targets, the Standard Oil refinery in Perth Amboy, N.J. no longer exists.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News
KEYWORDS: alqaida; jihadinamerica; michaelreynolds; nutcase; pipeline; reynolds

1 posted on 02/15/2006 8:12:41 AM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative
Which brings up the folly of the argument the democrats use when they say, "Are you questioning my patriotism?"

The American Islamofacist believes that the U.S. should be 100% Muslim and he fights for that -- and thus considers himself a patriot.

The Liberal believes the U.S. would be a utopia if it would become 100% liberal and so he fights for that -- and considers himself to be patriotic.

And you can go right down the line with every citizen saying "I believe the U.S. should be THIS way and I am trying to make it so, therefore my actions are patriotic."

Thus the words "patriotic" and "patriot" have become worthless in modern culture. Those terms now mean whatever the user wants them to mean.

2 posted on 02/15/2006 8:28:56 AM PST by ZGuy
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To: ZGuy

This guy is not a Moose-Limb... sounds like the typical PA militia type; he was trying to set up a deal with Muzzies so he could infiltrate their organization and take them down... knowing more than one like him, and that this militia true patriot type is pretty thick in the area, I believe him... I bet that's also why they will get him on the weapons charges... they know that around here the chances of getting one sympathetic juror are pretty high in a case where an individual is trying to do what the government can't or won't...

3 posted on 02/15/2006 8:42:19 AM PST by LambSlave (The truth will set you free)
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To: ZGuy

The only working definition of "patriot" that makes any sense is one who will defend, with his/her life if necessary, the legal framework and institutions that have made the U.S. great over the past 230 years: the Constitution as originally framed, limited republican government, the rule of law, and free market capitalism. By this definition, Islamofascists and liberals cannot be patriots, since they work toward and defend contradictory objectives.

4 posted on 02/15/2006 9:23:46 AM PST by Emile (Welcome to New Orleans, aka "The Big Chocolate")
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To: Born Conservative

Nah this guy is a straght up terrorist.

Went to SE Asia to teach....rrrright. Try "to learn" from Al Qaeda.

5 posted on 02/15/2006 9:36:59 AM PST by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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