By JOSH NEWTON
Tahlequah police arrested a 35-year-old man early Friday morning after he allegedly made terroristic threats and claimed to be part of a Taliban “sleeper cell.”
Raymond Edmonds was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center shortly after 2 a.m. for making the alleged threats and for obstructing Tahlequah Police Officer Cory Keele.
Keele said he was patrolling on South Muskogee Avenue when he noticed Edmonds raise his hand and make an inappropriate hand gesture. The officer said Edmonds was also wearing a hood.
“I thought this to be odd behavior since it was hot outside, and in my experience, a person normally doesn’t make gestures to the police so blatantly,” Keele wrote in his arrest affidavit.
Keele stopped to talk with the man – who is described on an arrest report as being homeless – but Edmonds allegedly wouldn’t speak when asked for his name. Keele said he then asked Edmonds where he was going.
“He stated, ‘I am on my way to pick [up] some anthrax virus and C-4,’” Keele said.
Edmonds allegedly smelled of a chemical odor.
“I explained to the subject that he could not make claims like this, especially with all the events happening in the world,” said Keele. “I asked [Edmonds] for his name and he advised me it was classified and that he was part of a ‘sleeper cell.’ [He] then stated that he was a Taliban member and kept making comments to this effect. [He] also advised me he had left a meeting with other people that was classified.”
Tahlequah Officer Tony Aguilar transported the man to CCDC, where he identified himself to jail staff as Raymond Edmonds.
After Edmonds identified himself, Keele said he remembered having a previous run-in with the man, who allegedly said he was celebrating the death of American troops in Iraq.