Abdullatif Aldosary -- the Iraqi refugee accused of detonating an "explosive device" outside the Social Security Administration building in Casa Grande in November -- apparently will be charged in a murder that occurred just days before the bombing.
Orlando Requena, 26, was working the overnight shift at Arizona Grain in Maricopa on November 27 when a man in a ski mask approached him about 2:30 a.m. and shot him dead.
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A week later, authorities raided the Coolidge home of Aldosary and arrested him for allegedly detonating an explosive device outside the Casa Grande Social Security Administration office a few days earlier, on November 30. No one was injured in the explosion, but debris landed more than 100 feet away from the spot of the detonation, and Aldosary even lit his own car on fire in the blast and drove off with his car ablaze, according to the federal complaint.
There was never any mention by authorities that Aldosary may have been connected to the murder of Requena, but that appears to be the case.
A source speaking on the condition of anonymity tells New Times that Aldosary -- who had a temporary job at Arizona Grain prior to the shooting -- would be charged with murdering Requena.
Jim Knupp, the spokesman for the Pinal County Attorney's Office, didn't confirm or deny the claim, but sent over the following statement that certainly seems to add credence to it:
We have no update at this time. Pinal County Attorney Voyles continues working this case actively and cooperatively with federal authorities and the police department. Federal authorities have a trial set with him later this spring/summer. Once their business is concluded, we expect to take appropriate action promptly. The Pinal County Attorney's Office remains in contact with Mr. Requena's family and is making certain they know our intentions to obtain justice for their family.
A spokesman for the Maricopa Police Department referred us back to the County Attorney's Office when we asked about it, and said he wouldn't comment on the case.
If anything, the apparent murder implication makes accusations of terrorism against Aldosary a little weaker.
Although the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated the bombing of a federal building, there has been no indication from the feds that this was an act of terrorism.
However, it wasn't long before Republican Congressman Paul Gosar was asking why a "known terrorist" was allowed to live in his district, despite the fact that Gosar's staff attempted to help Aldosary obtain a green card the year prior.
Aldosary was not actually a "known terrorist," but his application had been denied because, according to legislation passed by Congress, Aldosary had "engaged in terrorism activity."
Aldosary's "terrorism activity" was Aldosary his involvement in a 1991 uprising against the regime of Saddam Hussein, which was egged on by the U.S. government under President George H.W. Bush.
The Department of Homeland Security just recently created an exemption under that immigration law for Iraqis who participated in those uprisings over a one-month period, and a government source told New Times in the weeks after the bombing that Aldosary met this exemption, and his green-card case was re-opened.
And, although Aldosary certainly has an odd history, none of it was related to terrorism.
Aldosary was arrested in 2008, related to harassment of his former co-workers, at a Gilbert construction company. Aldosary would eventually land in prison for a few months due to these charges.
According to a minute entry from the court proceedings, Aldosary sent letters to the company and its employees -- despite an existing restraining order against him -- and two of those letters "were accompanied by sexually explicit photographs."
The owner of the company believed Aldosary "perhaps had ties to terrorist organizations," although a judge noted that he wasn't charged with any such conduct.
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In August, Aldosary was arrested at a gym in Casa Grande. Aldosary allegedly "displayed pornographic pictures and struck a man," according to a blurb published in the Casa Grande Dispatch at the time, and police refused to elaborate on the details of that incident after the bombing.
And, for now, Aldosary's awaiting trial on several federal charges related to the bombing in Casa Grande.
His trial's scheduled to start on July 2.