Father of man who shot Arkansas soldiers blames the government - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Father of man who shot Arkansas soldiers blames the government

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis father blames the government for not catching his son with ties to radicals, before he murdered a soldier in Little Rock. His son has pleaded guilty to the murder Monday, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Abulhakim Muhammad, grew up in Memphis, under his original name Carlos Bledsoe.

"If we don't do something to stop this craziness that we've allowed to happen in America, it will happen again," Melvin Bledsoe, Muhammad's father says.

Bledsoe believes Army Private William Andrew Long could be alive today if not for two things, Radical Islam, and the U.S. Government not doing it's job.

"They dropped the ball," Bledsoe said. "They made mistakes."

Abulhakim Muhammad confessed to shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock Arkansas in 2009.

Army Private William Andrew Long was killed. The families of both soldiers agreed to accept Muhammad's guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence.

Arkansas law doesn't allow guilty pleas in death penalty cases. Private Long's father said both families considered the offer together.

"We sat in there not unlike a jury considering what the best thing to do was," Daris Long said.

"It's two families destroyed," Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe says the government missed its opportunity to stop his son before the shooting. His son was arrested in Yemen in 2008 for overstaying his visa. Muhammad told him that U.S. authorities discovered his flash drive with his radical contacts on it.

"This was a test. If I can walk into Walmart, buy this assault weapon, and walk out the door, they could not be following me," Bledsoe said his son told him. "He walked into Walmart, twenty minutes later, walked out with a high powered assault riffle in his hand."

It's a problem Bledsoe now hopes to help solve. Bledsoe and Long now share a common goal: Get the case to federal court, in order to address the federal issues they say are involved.

No word yet from the U.S. attorney's office about if federal charges will be filed.

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