Terrorist Hoax Charge Filed Against former Mosque Attendee

An Oklahoma City man who made threats against a mosque he formerly attended has been arrested on felony complaints of creating a terrorist hoax.

Justin William Bouma, 32, remains jailed in the Oklahoma County Jail in lieu of $7,000 bond. In addition to the felony terrorist hoax complaint, he is also held on a misdemeanor count of malicious injury and destruction of property.

The case against Bouma comes as a result of allegations that he sent a letter containing white powder to the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. On June 1, the imam of the mosque contacted the FBI after receiving the letter, which was purported to contain anthrax.

The FBI tested the powder and determined it to be potassium perchlorate, a substance which is harmless as a biological toxin, but which is used in making flash powder for fireworks and stun grenades.

On August 11, Bouma allegedly spray-painted anti-Muslim sentiments, including "CAIR not welcome" (in reference to the Council on American- Islamic Relations) and references to ISIS, on the back of a Muslim-owned grocery store adjacent to the mosque.

Investigators identified Bouma as a suspect after learning that he allegedly sent threatening emails to members of the mosque he once attended.

The suspect allegedly admitted to packaging "cheap detergent" to place in an envelop along with a threatening letter composed of letters cut from magazines. He also reportedly admitted to spraying graffiti on the store, but said he did so under the direction of the imam.

Under the Oklahoma Antiterrorism Act, a terrorism hoax is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison, restitution to the victim, and reimbursement to state and local authorities for any emergency response.

Maliciously defacing property (21 O.S. 1760) is a misdemeanor if the aggregate value of the loss is less than $1,000. If the value is greater than $1,000, the act is a felony. 

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Image credit: Justin Connaher