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Man charged in Social Security office bombing

Dec. 4, 2012 - 11:12AM   |  
By LAURIE MERRILL   |   Comments
A Social Security Administration office in downtown Casa Grande, Ariz., near Phoenix, suffered damage in an explosion Friday.
A Social Security Administration office in downtown Casa Grande, Ariz., near Phoenix, suffered damage in an explosion Friday. (12News)

PHOENIX — A man federal officials identified as an Iraqi refugee has been charged in connection with the Friday bombing of a Social Security Administration office in downtown Casa Grande, Ariz., near Phoenix.

Abdullatif Aldosary, 47, was arrested by Casa Grande Police shortly after a homemade explosive rocked the building at about 8 a.m. Friday, before the 14-employee office opened for business, according to sources close to the case.

He was charged Monday in U.S. District Court in downtown Phoenix with damaging the building with explosives and possession of a firearm.

He was arrested after his car, spewing flames and speeding, was seen fleeing the explosion by a witness who jotted down the license number, according to a federal complaint released after Aldosary’s court appearance.

No one was hurt, but the fiery explosion shook buildings, set off car alarms, charred the structure’s walls and door, and scattered melted debris more than 100 feet, according to witnesses and the complaint.

Investigators traced the plate number and arrested Aldosary about an hour after the blast. Aldosary was washing the charred front of his 2003 Hyundai Elantra outside his Coolidge, Ariz., home when police arrived, the complaint says.

Inside the home, police found a rifle, ammunition, bomb-making chemicals and documents on how to make RDX, a powerful military explosive that officials say is often used in terrorist attacks, the complaint says.

They found, hidden behind a photograph hanging in the study, documents on how to make explosives and recipes from a book on making explosive devices, the complaint says.

Under his nightstand and in other parts of his house, they found more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, including 200 rounds of Russian-made ball and hollow-point ammunition, the complaint says.

Federal officials said Aldosary entered the country legally from Iraq 15 years ago.

In a statement late Monday, Rep. Paul Gosar, whose office was rattled in the Friday blast, said, “Aldosary is reportedly an Iraqi refugee who was given the privilege to live in our country but has apparently repaid our generosity and kindness with repeated violence and aggression.”

Aldosary served time in an Arizona state prison for a 2008 aggravated-harassment conviction. He was released in 2009. He also was convicted of violating a court order in 2009.

Laurie Merrill reports for The Arizona Republic.

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