Testimony continued in the Little Rock, Ark. capital murder trial of Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, with prosecution and defense witnesses describing his transformation into an American jihadist.
On Thursday, jurors intently watched Muhammad's videotaped interrogation by an FBI agent and local detectives in which he explained why he shot two soldiers outside an Army recruiting center. Army Private William Long died of wounds suffered in the June 1, 2009 shooting, while Army Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula survived.
In the interrogation session, Muhammad called the shooting a holy war and said he was not guilty of murder. Muhammad said he targeted soldiers because of what he regarded as mistreatment of Muslims. He said he had watched an Internet video the night before showing the mistreatment of Muslims.
"It made me angry," he said. After watching it, he made up his mind to "act on behalf of Muslims."
Muhammad knew the location of the recruiting center, and when he drove by and saw the soldiers smoking outside, he opened fire.
"It's an act of retaliation," he told the police. "There's a war going on."
Asked how he felt about the fact that an American soldier had died, Muhammad answered: "I don't really feel nothin'."
Muhammad said he would have killed more soldiers if he had seen them outside. He said he was angry at American soldiers, just as he would be at "anyone who was doing this to our religion."
On Friday, the defense began presenting its case, with a forensic psychiatrist testifying that Muhammad suffers from a delusional disorder. Monica Holley, Muhammad's older sister, described how, three weeks before he left for Yemen in 2007, he looked her in the eye and promised to stay out of trouble.
"He looked me in my eyes and I trusted him," Holley said.
Testimony resumes Monday morning.