The two suspects held by authorities in connection with the serial sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C., region were homosexual lovers with ties to the al-Qaida terror network, according to a report in the National Enquirer.
John Malvo and John Muhammad
The tabloid says John Muhammad – a twice-wed father of four – and John Lee Malvo had an intense affair which sparked the 21-day killing spree that left 10 dead and three wounded.
“They told people they were father and son, but investigators have found out the two men were really lovers,” a source told the newspaper.
Muhammad became close to Malvo when he visited Antigua two years ago, and they quickly formed a close bond that outraged Malvo’s mother, Una.
“She said Muhammad was brainwashing the boy into being his slave and she thought there was a sexual relationship between her son and Muhammad,” according to a family friend.
Muhammad fled with the boy to Bellingham, Wash., where they moved into the Lighthouse Mission for the homeless. The older man stunned others in the mission by acting possessive of the teen-ager, and an exercise partner at a local YMCA described the pair’s relationship as homosexual.
“Muhammad put his arms around Malvo and was seen kissing him on several occasions,” he said. “There were quite a few gay guys at the YMCA, and if any of them looked at Malvo, Muhammad would get furious.
“[Muhammad] often felt the young man’s muscles after a workout and said Malvo was his pride and joy. He told the young man, ‘Allah is going to be proud of you. You must be strong to do his work.’ The kid was totally in Muhammad’s power.”
The workout partner, who requested anonymity due to fears of revenge by Islamic extremists, also said Muhammad hated the U.S.
“He had links to al-Qaida and wanted to terrorize America.”
A top federal law-enforcement officer revealed that authorities are investigating the homosexual relationship between the two men and a connection with foreign terrorists in Canada, Seattle and two other cities.
“Muhammad did quite a bit of traveling and always seemed to be able to get money,” said the officer. “We are checking banking records of individuals and groups suspected of terrorist activity not only in Europe but also in Canada and in the
“Muhammad had contact with a mosque in northern Virginia that was also frequented by at least two of the terrorists who crashed into the World Trade Center. While not being part of an organized group of terrorists, Muhammad would be the kind they use.”
The Enquirer says Muhammad’s world began spinning out of control after his second wife, Mildred, hit him with a divorce action in December 1999. He fled with their three children to Antigua in March 2000, but he returned to the U.S. three months later.
Authorities were able to return the children to their mother in September 2001. Alone and lonely, Muhammad reportedly turned to Malvo for comfort and began introducing him as his stepson.
“When Muhammad’s wife regained custody of their three children, Muhammad’s latent homosexuality was triggered,” said Dr. Andrew Hodges, a forensic psychiatrist and expert on serial killers.
At Bellingham’s Lighthouse Mission for the homeless, the shelter’s executive director, the Rev. Al Archer, concluded that Muhammad was a dangerous man linked to Islamic extremists, and more than a year ago unsuccessfully tried to get the FBI to share his concern.
“After I got to know Muhammad better, I suspected him of being part of a terrorist organization,” Archer said. “I called the FBI in October 2001, but tragically they didn’t listen to me.”
Those concerns were echoed by Archer’s colleague, the Rev. James Mitton.
“Muhammad supposedly didn’t have any money, yet he could fly to the Caribbean,” said Mitton. “He would go to California. He would say he needed to go somewhere on the East Coast, and he had the money to do it.
“Muhammad never had a job that we knew about – that was part of what threw up a red flag. He was apparently getting money from an outside source.”
Authorities are now trying to glean what information they can from a laptop computer recovered from the Chevrolet Caprice, the vehicle from which the pair allegedly launched their shooting spree.
“We’re also looking at a mosque in Falls Church, Va., for leads to map out a network that may lead us right to al-Qaida’s doorstep,” said a law enforcement official. “There’s an active cell in northern Virginia that Muhammad may well have hooked up with. And Muhammad’s ties to Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam are also important.”
The FBI is also closely investigating the activities of a violent Muslim group operating in the U.S. called Jamaat ul-Fuqra.
“We want to find the links between Muhammad and this group,” said the official.