Two men affiliated with the New Black Panther Party – one of whom identified himself as a “terrorist” to a confidential informer – admitted Tuesday in federal court that they planned to blow up a police station and assassinate the St. Louis County prosecutor and Ferguson, Missouri, police chief.
Olajuwon Ali Davis, 23, and Brandon Orlando Baldwin, 24, pleaded guilty to four explosives and gun charges, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Baldwin also goes by Brandon Muhammad, according to court documents, and Davis uses the last name Ali and goes by “Brother Ali.” According to the Anti-Defamation League, “Ali apparently converted to Islam in college, according to a YouTube video he posted in October 2012, although it is unclear if he still considers himself a Muslim.”
Baldwin’s Facebook “likes” “consist of various pages related to Islam, the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, the Black Riders Liberation Party, the African-American Defense League, and other black nationalist individuals, causes, and groups,” according to ADL.
The crimes carry seven-year prison terms, and the two men will face sentencing on Aug. 31.
According to reports, they met in Ferguson while protesting the shooting of Michael Brown by former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
Davis is a local leader of the New Black Panther Party in St. Louis, and Baldwin is a former employee of the Cabela’s sporting goods store in Hazelwood, which sells firearms. The two began discussing plans to make gun purchases for felons and others. They sought to organize a group of protesters to “be like an army” and fight police, according to their plea.
Federal agents tapped their phone calls and recorded their conversations and texts for weeks.
According to the Post-Dispatch, “Baldwin admitted that he did buy three guns, falsifying federal forms by saying that the guns were for him.
“They also talked about buying bombs. On Oct. 31, Davis ‘put it out there that he was a terrorist’ during a conversation with a confidential informer.”
Baldwin told another informer he wanted to build “bombs and blow things up,” according to his plea. He said he intended to “hit them in places where it hurt, hit someone important.”
Baldwin’s plea says they planned to use at least 10 bombs with a blast radius of at least five yards.
He told an informer they wanted “five for the people,” two more for ATM machines and another “for one of them tanks,” referring to armored police vehicles.
Baldwin said to the informer, “We are at war, you understand bro?”
They planned to target an unidentified police headquarters and “destroy their communications.” According to the plea, Baldwin also mentioned St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, then-Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and other officers as targets.
Baldwin sought to attack “somebody personal to them, and then at his funeral, we gotta get a couple more … Godfather style.”
On. Nov. 12, 2014, an FBI informer played video footage of a bomb explosion, and Baldwin replied, “We need em, we need em.” So Baldwin and the informer showed the footage to Davis, who requested a bomb to test, instructions and information on larger bombs.
They also asked for car bombs that could be detonated remotely.
Davis gave the informer $100 and promised to provide $150 more. Baldwin said he couldn’t pay up until he received his unemployment benefits.
When Davis accepted three fake pipe bombs from an undercover agent, they were both arrested.
The two were indicted Nov. 19 on gun charges, and more charges were added later. Both men admitted to conspiring to buy and use explosives.
In November 2014, the New Black Panthers organization released a statement calling the allegations “totally unfounded” and “trumped up and baseless.”