Special Forces Soldier Treated as ‘Double-Max’ Prisoner

After his conviction and sentencing, Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart was sent to the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.  Below is an excerpt from the book, Three Days In August, about his arrival at the Kansas prison:

"The Green Mile"

“The Green Mile”

During the in-processing experience, Stewart received shorts, t-shirts, shoes and socks, shower shoes, toiletry items, toothbrush—“everything I need,” he said.  After that, his real prison experience began.

“Then I’m walking down the long hall,” Stewart explained.  “There’s this huge hall in Leavenworth that everybody walks down, kind of like in “The Green Mile”—and there’s a change of shifts.”

A “cease inmate movement” order had been issued, so Stewart was the only prisoner on the move.  That meant other inmates had the opportunity to see Stewart.

In full beard, double-handcuffs, a belly chain and a body cuff connected to two leg restraints, his appearance contrasted stark with the way most prisoners arrived (i.e., wearing one set of handcuffs and one set of leg restraints).

“I’m looking overly zealous,” Stewart explained, recalling other prisoners’ comments:  “Ah, man, double-max.”

“Everybody thought a double-max guy had to be in there for a big murder or something else,” Stewart said, because very few people arrive at the prison in the manner he did unless they were violent during transport or something like that.  Stewart had been neither.

To learn more about the life of this elite Special Forces Soldier and highly-decorated combat veteran and his time before, during and after Fort Leavenworth, order a copy of Three Days In August.

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Was It ‘Sudden Jihad Syndrome’ or Something Else? Suspect in Bus Station Murder Still Not Prosecuted After Three Years

Three years ago this week, Mohamed Dawod found himself charged with the murder of Justin Hall, 32, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, at a Greyhound bus station in Springfield, Mo. As of today, he has not been prosecuted for his alleged role in the deadly shooting that took place less than 48 hours before the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Mohamed H. Dawod

Mohamed H. Dawod

Whether or not terrorism was involved, however, remains up in the air to this day, thanks in part to officials in the Southwest Missouri community who were quick to say the shooting by the 25-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., appeared random, according to a report in the Springfield News-Leader. But was it really?

According to a Sept. 9, 2011, report on KSPR-TV, Springfield police said that, because of a language barrier, they only learned Dawod’s name and have asked the FBI to help them with the investigation. Also in that report was this telling paragraph:

Ten separate witnesses say they did not notice the men fighting or arguing before the shooting. One passenger said she watched the suspect wander around the terminal until the call to line up to re-board the bus. “She then observed the suspect remove a silver and black handgun from a back pack he was carrying,” the officer wrote. “The suspect then pointed the handgun upward while saying something. The witness could not understand what the suspect said and didn’t know if he was speaking English.” No matter what was said the witness said Hall didn’t react or turn around. Shortly after the witness says Dawod shot him from a few feet away.

Witnesses featured in two television news reports, however, seem to reveal more than the “official” story lets on about the deadly incident that involved a man with a Muslim name and Middle East appearance shooting someone he did not know less than 48 hours ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The first television report, which aired on St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK prior to any names being released or charges filed, featured witnesses saying it appeared the assailant would have kept shooting if not for the fact that his gun jammed. The second report, which aired on the same station after the Springfield Police Department announced the alleged shooter’s name and charges against him, offered much the same story.

Not surprisingly, Dawod pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Sept. 12, 2011. The extent to which Dawod would carry out some form of “legal jihad” — that is, causing the U.S. court system to waste as much time, effort and money as possible on his case — remained to be seen.

Could it be that, when Dawod pointed the handgun in the air, he shouted, “Alluh Akbar,” the cry that’s been heard coming from the mouths of so many Islamic extremists moments before they suffer from so-called “sudden jihad syndrome”? No answer to that question yet, so let’s fast-forward to a news report published Sept. 14, 2011, in the Springfield News-Leader.

Based largely on interviews with three people who were at the scene of the shooting, the article included two observations — that the shooter tried to fire again but could not because his gun jammed and that the witnesses believed the shooter intended to shoot several people. In addition, however, it noted that Patrick Beeman, a friend and traveling companion of the victim, said Dawod asked police a question in English after he was arrested: “He said, ‘if I quit shooting at people, can I get back on the bus?'” That, of course, made many wonder if he spoke and understood English after all.

On Sept. 25, 2011, it was revealed in another report — no longer online at NBC4i.com — that, in addition to a handgun, Dawod had a 9-inch knife and 37 rounds of ammunition when arrested.

Within 90 days of his arrest, Dawod was ordered by a judge to undergo psychiatric evaluations, and today, it seems, he remains “under observation.” Though I searched for updated information on CaseNet, the online site where one can typically find information related to civil and criminal cases, I could find no record of the Dawod case.

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