First he sang odes to suicide bombers. Next he bit FBI officials while being arrested. Then video surfaced of him chanting "Alluha Akbar"; while firing an AK-47. Now the case of Emerson Begolly, the alleged 21-year-old young jihadist, has taken another strange twist: he says his anti-American hate began when a Christian minister tried to seduce and kidnap him.
According to instant messaging transcripts allegedly written by Begolly and obtained by Talking Points Memo (TPM), the radicalized young man told another jihad-obsessed friend in November that he "really started to hate this society" after a disturbing incident involving a pastor. (All formatting and spelling errors are his in the following quotes.)
"when i was like 13 or 14 some queer he tried to kidnap me," Begolly wrote. "he came to me and put his hand on my le[g] and said...hey sweetie and i said who r u? he said he was a christian minister...he said the world would be a better place without women. he [g]ot closer and whisper in my ears... there would be just us men... but alhamdullah... i escaped."
TPM says Begolly allegedly reported the incident to police, who then told him the man was indeed a minister but also a registered sex offender who raped a boy a few years prior.
"i am still traumatized," he wrote to his friend.
The instant messages continue on for 79 pages, all part of evidence introduced last Thursday by investigators. According to TPM, those pages include railings against an America where "homosexuality... abortion... assisted suicide, whores, and dru(g)s r all legal," and an admission that he was obsessed with killing.
"when i wake up in the morning...the first thing i think about is killing...seriously... i think about killing all the time," he supposedly wrote in one conversation. "as i type this...my AK is propped up next to me...mujahideen style."
His "AK" was one of his favorite weapons. A home video shows him practicing with it and shouting "Alluha Akbar":
The instant messages also apparently include him talking about his "training" -- which included target practice with his "AK"-- and his ideas about terrorist attack options:
One possible plan, he explained to Khalidabdalhakim, was to violently take over a school -- like the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis -- in return for the release of high-profile Muslim prisoners. On the top of the list of people Begolly wanted to free was Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who is serving a sentence of 86 years for trying to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan, and Omar Abdel-Rahman, the alleged leader of an Egyptian terrorist organization, who is serving a life sentence for "seditious conspiracy."
Concerned about whether Khalidabdalhakim would approve of his tactics, Begolly asked if he would object to using a child or unarmed noncombatant as a target. "plz dont think im a psycho," he wrote.
Begolly also floated the idea of organizing a suicide terrorist attack by purchasing an old Buick, filling it with gas tanks and then lighting the car on fire. Desire to become "shaheed" -- the Arabic word for martyr -- was a common thread in the conversations. "the shaheed feels no pain except like a bee sting," he wrote.
And in the end, he seemed ready to see at least one of those plans carried out.
"i think they r chicken," he wrote regarding the idea of being captured. "if i had the choice between 12 jourors [sic] and 6 palbearers [sic] id choose the latter any day ;)."