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March 28, 2002
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FBI Arrests Man Who Drove Truck into a Tallahassee Mosque

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - The FBI has arrested a man who allegedly drove his truck into a mosque near the Florida State University campus earlier this week.

Charles Franklin, a 41-year-old carpenter, hasn't been charged with a federal crime but was arrested Wednesday based on "probable cause," FBI Special Agent Bill Hurlburt told the Tallahassee Democrat.

Franklin is being held in the Leon County Jail and is expected to appear in federal court this week. City police said Franklin told officers he intentionally drove his pickup truck into the Islamic Center of Tallahassee because he hates Muslims, who should all leave the country.

"There's a federal interest in this matter ... a civil rights interest," Hurlburt said.

After the crash, Franklin walked to a nearby bar, where he was arrested by police on state charges of burglary and criminal mischief.

The Democrat said that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Franklin wrote the paper a letter that read "the violence must end, but American flower power will not soften the hearts of militant Muslims.

"Until all of Abraham's descendants learn to live as brothers in the tiny land that they all cherish, the hawk will continue to circle and the dove will be put to flight," he wrote.

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