A Muslim who engaged in “jihad” against Americans on U.S. soil surprised a New Jersey court as a jury was being selected for his trial on charges of killing a college student by pleading guilty.
Ali Muhammad Brown faces life in prison without parole since his admission was made without a plea bargain, reported the Clarion Project.
“The mistake that I made is I thought I was fighting jihad,” he told the judge.
He already was serving a 35-year sentence for an armed robbery he committed in New Jersey before the murder.
In addition to his confession to killing the college student in New Jersey in 2014, he’s also admitted killing three people in Washington state that year.
Brown began his murder spree in Seattle on April 27, 2014, when he killed Leroy Henderson in a drive-by shooting.
Then, he lured Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young using a homosexual dating app and murdered them June 1.
That attack was the second Muslim attack on homosexuals in Seattle that year, after another extremist tried to burn down a “gay” nightclub.
After the three murders, Brown then escaped to New Jersey and murdered 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin on June 25.
“[When a] man sees evil, then he must take action against that evil,” Brown stated at that time.
He said the “evil” was U.S. actions toward Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.
He said at the time: “All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life. My mission is my mission between men and my Lord.”
KCPQ-TV in Seattle reported Brown admitted shooting Tevlin as Tevlin sat at a traffic light in West Orange, a few miles from Newark.
The 33-year-old Brown pleaded guilty to murder, felony murder, carjacking, robbery, terrorism and two weapons offenses. He was the first person charged with terrorism connected to a homicide under a New Jersey law, the report said.
“I shot those people in Seattle, Washington, too, if you want to put that on the record,” Brown said.
Jury selection already had begun last week for Brown’s scheduled trial when he notified prosecutors of his decision to plead guilty.
“It appeared he wanted to make himself something of a martyr,” Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Jamel Semper said, according to KCPQ. “He is not. He is just an invented killer who destroyed lives and hurt families. He was clearly radicalized online and took up arms against the country — his own country that gave him constitutional protections and allowed him to appear in court and throw himself at the mercy of the court.”
The report said that according to court papers in Seattle, Brown described himself to detectives as a strict Muslim who had become angry with the U.S. government’s role overseas.
Authorities said he would need to plead guilty to the counts in Washington state to resolve those cases.
He was found hiding in the woods in West Orange weeks after the Tevlin shooting and was linked to the Seattle murders by a match on the ballistics tests of his gun.