Pennsylvania Man in Plot to Assist al Qaeda

Targets: U.S. Gas Pipelines, Refineries in New Jersey & Wyoming

12 February 2006: Michael Curtis REYNOLDS, 47, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and Pocatello, Idaho, has been incarcerated in the Lackawanna County, PA jail since December 5, 2005 on a weapons charge. Federal officials, however, have evidence that he actively attempted to provide material aid to al-Qaeda by planning to detonate propane-filled trucks along sections of the Trans-Alaskan and Transcontinental Pipelines, and blow up the Standard Oil Co. in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and the Williams Refinery in Opal, Wyoming. Although he has yet to be charged with terrorism, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gurganus testified at REYNOLD’S December hearing that “he [REYNOLDS] was doing it as a plan to disrupt governmental function, to change the government’s actions in foreign countries, and to impact on the national debate about the war.”

Until March or April of 2005, REYNOLDS resided in Wilkes-Barre, when he “disappeared” and left his elderly mother alone. According to press reports, REYNOLDS’ sister came to the home to care for her mother and contacted police after finding a grenade inside of the home. Meanwhile, REYNOLDS was reportedly traveling inside the U.S., although recently became a resident of a hotel in Pocatello, Idaho. From there, he actively sought financing from al Qaeda terrorists to purchase the trucks and materials to execute the plot.

REYNOLDS was returned to Pennsylvania on one charge of possession of a grenade. The FBI then obtained search warrants for his computers and his e-mail accounts, finding e-mails and other information outlining the plot. Federal agents in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Pennsylvania are continuing to investigate REYNOLDS’ activities.

REYNOLDS has a criminal history going back to 1978, when he was convicted of attempted arson and menacing. He also has unrelated convictions for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and breach of the peace.