Alleged Plot Included Bombing Arch, Killing St. Louis County Prosecutor, Ferguson Chief

Christine Byers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 27, 2014

Two men indicted last week on federal weapons charges allegedly had plans to bomb the Gateway Arch–and to kill St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson–the Post-Dispatch has learned.

Sources close to the investigation were uncertain whether the men had the capability to carry out the plans, although the two allegedly did buy what they thought was a pipe bomb in an undercover law enforcement sting.

The men wanted to acquire two more bombs, the sources said, but could not afford to do it until one suspect’s girlfriend’s Electronic Benefit Transfer card was replenished.

An indictment, with no mention of bombs or killings, was returned in federal court here Nov. 19 and unsealed Friday upon the arrest of Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis. Their addresses and Baldwin’s age were not available; Davis is 22.

The arrest came three days before McCulloch revealed that a grand jury would not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the controversial killing of Michael Brown. {snip}

The charges say that between Nov. 1 and Nov. 13, at the Cabela’s store in Hazelwood, Baldwin claimed to be buying two Hi-Point .45-caliber pistols for himself when they were really for another person. Brandon also is known as Brandon Muhammad, according to court documents, and Davis now goes by the last name Ali, his attorney said. Each faces a charge of aiding and abetting the making of a false written statement made in connection with a firearms purchase.

The sources said additional charges, reflecting the plot, were expected to be filed. They said Davis was considered the leader of the plot, which police documented on hidden video.


One of the defendants’ plans, the sources said, included planting a bomb inside the observation deck at the top of the Arch. It was not clear how they could have gotten a bomb past airport-style security screening for rides up.

It also wasn’t clear, the sources said, whether the men intended to use bombs as the means to kill McCulloch and Jackson. {snip}


Davis’ attorney, John Lynch, said that he had waived the detention hearing because, “This particular case involves serious issues, especially in light of the Ferguson matter. My client is entitled to a patient analysis and due process like anybody else, and he looks forward to a vigorous defense.”

Lynch said that Davis was “particularly bright” and had been associated with the Young Artists for Justice and Peace, which works to take back streets from drug dealers. He said prosecutors were accusing Davis of a “pretty serious” gun charge, “with other charges potentially looming in the distance.”


Davis spoke at a New Black Panther rally at Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson last month about the police shooting of Brown, and was identified there as the Missouri chapter’s “minister of law.”

“This is not the first Mike Brown, and it won’t be the last, if we do not unite,” Davis told the crowd then. “Divided, we lose brothers and sisters. If you do not unite, put aside your difference and unite, you can expect no changes in the future. We must change our minds, our systems and ourselves.”

The New Black Panthers has issued a statement calling the allegations regarding bombing and killing “totally unfounded” and “trumped up and baseless.”


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