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Iraq vet arrested on terrorism charges after jogging with training rifle

 
 
 
 
 
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West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

A US veteran is facing charges of terrorism after being arrested for trying to get some exercise. That’s William Alemar’s story, at least, who was detained this week after jogging in full military fatigues in public while carrying a training rifle.

Authorities have charged 23-year-old Army National Guardsman and Iraq war veteran William Everett Alemar with “committing a terrorist act and wearing body armor while committing a felony offense.” He was arrested on the morning of August 20 after officers responded to calls of an armed man running along a road adjacent to a Martinsburg, West Virginia high school.

When the cops found Alemar three minutes later, he was wearing his full National Guard get-up and was brandishing an air-soft “training rifle,” a gun that while similar to his actual weapon only fires pellets, not bullets. He was also garbed in a ballistic vest composed of bullet-resistant ceramic panels and was equipped with two knives and several unloaded magazines, the Herald-Mail reports.

“The primary concern for the police department was that subject’s proximity to the area schools — Martinsburg High School, South Middle — when he was first located off Bulldog Boulevard,” Martinsburg Police Lt. George Swartwood says to reporters.

After spotting Alemar, authorities ordered him to the ground and then seized the weapons. He was initially held on $50,000 cash bond.

For the family of the vet, it seems a bit too much.

“He’s not a terrorist; he’s not a bad kid,” the suspect’s father, Stephen Alemar, tells The Herald-Mail.

A Facebook group, “Support William Alemar,” has been started to help the veteran as he prepares to fight his charges. Several of the users who have joined the group have made comparisons between Alemar and Brandon Raub, a retired US Marine from Virginia man who was recently detained for one week after he posted messages on his own social networking profile that raised the eyebrows of authorities.

“The idea of a Constitution free zone is bunk, and we would like to support this American Patriot as was Brandon Raub supported in his time of trouble,” the creator of the ‘Support William Alemar’ page writes. “The idea you can be labeled a ‘terrorist’ simply by carrying a training rifle, ammo, and knives is once again, an overblown reaction by our government. Unless further hitherto unknown facts are released, it seems we should unite with this American hero, who is NOT a terrorists but a citizen of the republic!”

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  • Mike

    I use to do the same thing when i was on leave from the Army. You fight as you train and train as you fight. This Government is getting way out of hand and something needs to be done soon.

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  • J. Bowman

    How ridiculous can the government get? This gentleman is counted on to protect the millions of citizens in the US. He is expected to go fight a war in a godless sand covered killing field, to support the rights of those same people to complain about the means he uses to prepare for the time he is called to serve, is ludicrous. I don’t have a problem with the way he prepares, and I find no fault of those citizens who called the police. One can never be too cautious in this era of nutcases going ape. But have we actually gone so far, to the point that we minimize the civil rights of decent Americans. Really, are we to the point that a soldier with an airsoft gun, is arrested for staying in shape? As a retired police officer, and a son of a war veteran I find the actions of the police department despicable . If he was jogging with a wood rifle, would he be arrested? Did he make any overt actions that could have led one to believe he was a violent individual looking for someone to shoot? Was he running around screaming Iraqi slogans? What was it that triggered the response that was taken? We need to use our heads on incidents like this. Or will will give merit to our enemies that we are frightened, and willing to give up our rights, that we have so mightily attempted to invoke among of enemies. Have we really gotten that afraid that a person wearing fatigues, with an air soft rifle is considered as a danger to the individuals whom rights he fights for? What was the reason for his arrest? Do citizens now need to worry that giving a toy rifle to a child, teenager, or adult will lead to their arrest? Do we need to remove ROTC from our high schools and colleges, because they too run with rifles? Come on’ , let’s get real and do what is needed; release the gentleman from custody and apologize to this soldier. Then maybe he won’t sue the town for false arrest!! As 9/11 is upon us, we must not give up our constitutional rights, because if we do, we have lost our soldiers, airman, sailors, and marines who gave their lives for nothing!

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