Judge orders trial for San Diego man in Mich. mosque plot - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Judge orders trial for San Diego man in Mich. mosque plot

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — A San Diego man accused of plotting to attack a popular Detroit-area mosque was ordered to trial Friday after a police officer said he had 96 fireworks in his car, including M-80 firecrackers, smoke bombs and bottle rockets.

Roger Stockham was arrested Jan. 24 during a traffic stop near the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. Witnesses say the 63-year-old Vietnam War veteran spoke hours earlier at a bar about setting off an explosion at the mosque.

Dearborn Officer Stanley Chiles testified that Stockham had firecrackers, smoke bombs and bottle rockets.

"Someone can be hurt by them," especially if combined with alcohol and spray paint found in the car and gasoline in the tank, Chiles said.

Judge Mark Somers found probable cause to order a trial on charges of making a false report or threat of terrorism and possessing explosives with an unlawful intent.

Stockham of Imperial Beach, Calif., has a history of mental illness.

Outside court, defense attorney Matthew Evans said it's "kind of a stretch" to claim the fireworks were powerful. Somers denied his request to have police bring them into court.

Evans said Stockham was interested in social protest, not attacking the mosque.

Dearborn, a suburb next to Detroit, is the hub of the region's Arab-American community, one of the largest in the U.S. A third of the city's 100,000 residents trace their roots to the Arab world.

In 2002, Stockham was accused of making threats against President George W. Bush and officials at Vermont facilities for veterans.

He was released three years later from a medical center in Springfield, Mo., which treats federal inmates with mental-health problems. Stockham was ordered to abstain from alcohol and continue psychiatric treatment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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