Ex-Stanwood man charged with trying to aid militants
STANWOOD — A teenager accused of planning to supply a Somalian terrorist group with night-vision goggles and bulletproof vests foreshadowed the charges in his Stanwood High School yearbook with a note that mentions Somalia in his "plans for world supremacy."
Mark Robert Walker, 19, was arrested Nov. 6 in El Paso, Texas, and on Friday was charged with attempting or conspiring to contribute goods or services to a global terrorist organization.
Months earlier, Walker caused a stir when he left a cryptic note next to his senior portrait in the 2004 yearbook, writing that his "plans for world supremacy are in order. They entail taking over Somalia and working outward, but I should not divulge the exact details of my cunning strategy."
The entry also referred to Walker's "future heroic death" and offered a "death poem" with imagery of a grenade exploding and the phrase "all shall pass this world."
Officials at Stanwood High School began to investigate Walker's comments in June but stopped when they learned Walker and his family had moved to Rochester, N.Y. Superintendent Jean Shumate told the FBI about the yearbook entry after she learned of Walker's arrest.
Walker, who was arrested with $2,100 in cash, allegedly told federal officials he planned to buy night-vision goggles and bulletproof vests and give the items to fighters with a terrorist group called Ittihad al Islamiya and other groups seeking an Islamic government in Somalia, according to court documents.
Walker had begun attending Wyoming Technical College in Laramie, Wyo. He apparently fled to the U.S.-Mexico border after his roommate told police he was communicating with terrorist groups on the Internet.
Walker, who could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if convicted, was being held without bond in El Paso. He was scheduled to attend a detention hearing tomorrow.
Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company