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Posted: 10/25/2002 9:22:30 PM EDT
Suspect, Moose in Oregon Guard In a bizarre twist to sniper case, the two served at the same time in different units near PDX BY BEN JACKLET Issue date: 10/25/2002 The Tribune The suspected serial sniper and the cop who has been hunting him in the Maryland-Washington, D.C., area for three deadly weeks may have crossed paths in Portland years before the murders occurred. John Allen Muhammad, the former soldier arrested Thursday in connection with the serial sniper attacks around Washington, D.C., trained in the Oregon National Guard near Portland International Airport during the same time as former Portland Police Chief Charles Moose served at the airport with the Air National Guard. Muhammad was known as John Williams at the time of his military service in Oregon and later changed his name after converting to Islam. He did not receive any special training and was honorably discharged as a sergeant in April 1995, said Maj. Arnold Strong, a Guard spokesman. Muhammad trained as a combat engineer at the 141st Support Battalion at PDX, studying water treatment and sheet metal construction. The 49-year-old Moose served 24 years with the Portland Police Bureau, the last six as chief. From 1987 to 1998, he also served as a major in the Oregon Air National Guard base, which is located about a mile from the Oregon National Guard base. He was hired in August 1999 as police chief in Montgomery County, Md. “There is a very slim chance that these guys ever even saw each other,” Strong said. “Be that as it may, it would be safe to assume that they were in different departments of the Oregon National Guard simultaneously.’’ Staff Sgt. Leisha Leyson of the Guard’s 41st Brigade trained with Muhammad at the 141st Battalion, or Bravo Company. She remembers him as a serious, “military-minded” loner who proved himself an “exceptional shot” with an M-16. “He didn’t have a lot of friends in the unit, and he wasn’t there very long,” Leyson said. Muhammad, 41, was arrested Thursday morning at a rest stop near Frederick, Md. Also arrested was John Lee Malvo, 17. Law enforcement officials were expected to charge Muhammad and Malvo with the attacks that killed 10 people. Moose has led the task force investigation of the sniper deaths since five people were killed in his district Oct. 2 and 3. The 10th killing on Tuesday also took place in his district. Muhammad was stationed at the Fort Lewis Army base south of Tacoma before joining the Oregon National Guard. His service lasted from 1985 to 1994. He appears to have served with the Oregon Guard without ever residing in Oregon. A public records search showed an address for Muhammad in Lakewood, Wash., in May 1994 and another in Tacoma in June 1994. Preliminary news reports described Muhammad as a fit, former soldier, 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, who fought in the Persian Gulf War and was stationed at Fort Lewis during the 1980s. He has been married and divorced twice and has four children. He grew up in Louisiana and attended high school in New Orleans. He officially changed his name from John Williams to John Muhammad in April 2001.
Link Posted: 10/25/2002 11:25:49 PM EDT
Someone posted a picture of them both here, and apart from the eyebrows all the key facial features were identical. Now this? Lotsa coincidences. Strange that this guy would travel across country and end up in Moose's backyard. I really wouldn't be surprised if they had met in OR at some time in the past. Muhammed seemed to want to make [u]the Chief[/u] look like an idiot repeating his Indian folktale about the duck in a noose. Some kind of moral to teach him personally, or something. We'll probably never know all the facts.
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