Saturday, February 19, 2005

What to Make of This Man

On Friday, Texas newpapers and TV stations reported this piece of news:

A Texas man who told authorities he was headed to Syria to try to collect the $25 million bounty on Osama bin Laden was rarely home and mostly kept to himself, neighbors said.

But a few weeks ago, Matt Mihsen walked through the yard of his tiny, white-clapboard A-frame house carrying a shotgun over his shoulder, wearing a green Army jacket and looking disheveled, a neighbor said today.

"He looked kind of wild," said Patty Kelley, 28, whose house is about 30 yards from Mihsen's. "I have a 4-year-old son, and I was like, 'Let's get in the house.' I told my husband, 'I think he's psycho.' We don't go outside on that side of the house anymore."

Mihsen, 47, remained in federal custody in Detroit today, three days after his arrest at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. He told agents that he was going to Syria in hopes of claiming the reward, offered by the U.S. government, for information leading to bin Laden's arrest and conviction, according to a federal criminal complaint


He was arrested on charges of making false statements to federal investigators, trying to smuggle bulk cash out of the United States and attempting to export money and goods to Syria without a permit or authorization. The third charge, the most serious, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Mihsen denied carrying a large amount of cash before agents found he had nearly $14,000. They found a stun gun, 40 rounds of ammunition, pepper spray, a bulletproof vest and three Geiger counters in his luggage, the affidavit said.

Mihsen told agents he planned to use the items as bait to lure possible uranium smugglers, authorities said.


Samantha Daniels, who lives next door to Mihsen, said she was shocked by the events. She said she never saw Mihsen exhibit odd behavior or have weapons.


She said Mihsen told neighbors he was a FedEx pilot but recently said he owned a security company.

Mihsen was a package handler for FedEx but has not worked for the company in more than a year, said Steve Barber, a spokesman at the Memphis headquarters. He declined further comment.

Read more ...

Was this guy seriously going to Syria to catch Bin Laden and get the 25-million dollar bounty? Why do I have a feeling he came up with the Bin Laden story to cover up what he was carrying in his luggage? I hope his true destination wasn't Iraq.

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