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SoCal Man Calls Mosque Plot Charges ‘Absurd’

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(CBS)

(CBS)

DETROIT (CBS/AP) — A Southland Vietnam War veteran charged in an alleged plot to attack a popular Michigan mosque says the charges against him are “absurd.”

Roger Stockham, 63, told reporters on Thursday at the Wayne County Jail that he meant to spray-paint an anti-Iraq war message on the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn on the day of his January arrest.

But he says he didn’t intend to use powerful fireworks he had with him to attack the mosque or worshippers.

The 63-year-old Imperial Valley man acknowledged having threatened to cause explosions in the past but he says that wasn’t the case here.

Stockham has a history of bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders, according to police reports.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of making a false report or threat of terrorism, and possessing explosives with an unlawful intent.

Dearborn, located about 10 miles west of Detroit, is the capital of one of the largest Arab-American communities in the U.S.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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