back to top

Army Reserve Officer Arrested For Targeting A Mosque Threatened To Kill Retired Muslim Army Captain

A North Carolina man was arrested and charged with "ethnic intimidation" and "going armed to terror the public" after putting bags of bacon outside a mosque and making death threats against worshippers.

Posted on

An armed suspect was arrested and charged after allegedly making death threats against members of a North Carolina mosque and placing bags of bacon outside their place of worship, authorities said Friday.

Russell Thomas Langford was charged with "ethnic intimidation, assault with a deadly weapon, going armed to terror the public, communicating threats, stalking and disorderly conduct," according to the Hoke County Sheriff's Office.

Langford is a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, Capt. John Kivett, confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

Langford allegedly placed two bags of bacon outside the Masjid Al Madina mosque in Raeford on Thursday, police said. When one of the mosque's members left for his home, Langford allegedly began following him in his car that was waiting in the mosque's parking lot.

On Thursday evening, Langford returned and allegedly made death threats to a mosque worshipper, police said.

"He threatened to kill several of the individuals at the mosque and bury them in the backyard," Kivett told BuzzFeed News.

The victim was a retired Army Captain who serves as a Muslim chaplain at Fort Bragg, Kivett said.

Officials who responded to the scene located "several firearms, ammunition, and additional weapons" inside Langford's car, police said.

In a Facebook post, the daughter of the chaplain said, "My dad just had a gun pulled on him at our local masjid by a white supremacist. So this is the USA that I'm coming home to? (And no, it does not matter if my dad served 33 years in the US Army - this should not happen to anyone)."

She did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, Kivett said.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.