Springfield Bomb Suspect a Former "Bible Thumper"

Michael Finton tried to set off car bomb outside Springfield Federal Building Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    WAND-TV
    Michael Finton

    The man accused of plotting to blow up a central Illinois courthouse says he studied many religions in prison before turning to Islam.

    Michael Finton wrote on an Internet site that he was familiar with the Catholic church, Seventh-Day Adventists and other Christian denominations from his childhood.

    Finton's January 2007 essay said he became a "Bible-thumper" for a while but that it didn't satisfy him. Finton wrote that he felt adrift.

    "I was familier with several different denominations including catholic, pentecostal, baptists, etc. It didn't satisfy me," Finton wrote in a blog entry, which has been copied by NBC station KSDK in St. Louis, MO.

    Eventually, Finton became a Muslim and sometimes used the name Talib Islam. He attended a mosque in Decatur.

    The 29-year-old was arrested Wednesday on charges that he tried to set off a car bomb outside the federal courthouse in Springfield.

    A Jordanian man living outside Dallas was also arrested Thursday after federal officials said he parked what he thought was an explosive-laden truck in a parking garage beneath a 60-story office tower.

    The cases are not connected to each other, nor are they connected to that of Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old airport shuttle driver who federal officials allege received explosives training from al-Qaida and bought large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and nail-polish remover in a plot to build bombs for attacks on U.S. soil.